Assessing the Toxicity of 17α-Ethinylestradiol in Rainbow Trout Using a 4-Day Transcriptomics Benchmark Dose (BMD) Embryo Assay
There is an urgent demand for more efficient and ethical approaches in ecological risk assessment. Using 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) as a model compound, this study established an embryo benchmark dose (BMD) assay for rainbow trout (RBT; Oncorhynchus mykiss) to derive transcriptomic points-of-departure (tPODs) as an alternative to live-animal tests. Embryos were exposed to graded concentrations of EE2 (measured: 0, 1.13, 1.57, 6.22, 16.3, 55.1, and 169 ng/L) from hatch to 4 and up to 60 days post-hatch (dph) to assess molecular and apical responses, respectively. Whole proteome analyses of alevins did not show clear estrogenic effects. In contrast, transcriptomics revealed responses that were in agreement with apical effects, including excessive accumulation of intravascular and hepatic proteinaceous fluid and significant increases in mortality at 55.1 and 169 ng/L EE2 at later time points. Transcriptomic BMD analysis estimated the median of the 20th lowest geneBMD to be 0.18 ng/L, the most sensitive tPOD. Other estimates (0.78, 3.64, and 1.63 ng/L for the 10th percentile geneBMD, first peak geneBMD distribution, and median geneBMD of the most sensitive over-represented pathway, respectively) were within the same order of magnitude as empirically derived apical PODs for EE2 in the literature. This 4-day alternative RBT embryonic assay was effective in deriving tPODs that are protective of chronic effects of EE2.
Alper James G. Alcaraz, Kamil Mikulášek, David Potěšil, Bradley Park, Kamran Shekh, Jessica Ewald, Connor Burbridge, Zbyněk Zdráhal, David Schneider, Jianguo Xia, Doug Crump, Niladri Basu, and Markus Hecker. 2021. Assessing the Toxicity of 17α-Ethinylestradiol in Rainbow Trout Using a 4-Day Transcriptomics Benchmark Dose (BMD) Embryo Assay. Environmental Science & Technology. 55 (15), 10608–10618. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c02401