The metal pyrithiones, principally zinc (ZnPT) and copper (CuPT), are replacing tributyltin (TBT) as antifouling agents. Zebrafish embryos were exposed within the first hour after fertilization to 12 and 64 µg/L of CuPT for 24 h. Morphological abnormalities in notochord and muscle architecture were observed at 96 h post fertilization (hpf). TEM revealed abnormal electron dense deposits in the notochord sheath and muscle fiber degeneration in animals treated with 12 µg/L of CuPT. Embryos that were exposed to 64 µg/L of CuPT displayed severe muscle fiber degeneration including abnormal A and I band patterning and altered z disk arrangement. Abnormalities in the notochord sheath, swelling of the mitochondria and numerous lipid whorls were also noted. Total antioxidant capacity was significantly decreased in embryos exposed to 12 and 64 µg/L of CuPT. Acridine orange staining revealed an increase in apoptosis particularly in the brain, eye, heart and tail regions of both treatment groups. Apoptosis was confirmed with an increase in caspase 3/7 activity in both treatment groups. Severe alternations in primary motor neuron axon extensions, slow tonic muscle fibers and fast twitch fibers were observed in CuPT treated embryos. There was a significant upregulation in sonic hedgehog and myod1 expression at 24 hpf in the 12 µg/L treatment group. Exposed zebrafish embryos showed ultra-structural hallmarks of peroxidative injury and cell death via apoptosis. These changes question the use of copper pyrithione as an antifouling agent.
Ecotoxicology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2017
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