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Neurotoxicological effects induced by up-regulation of miR-137 following triclosan exposure to zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Liu, Jinfeng, Xiang, Chenyan, Huang, Wenhao, Mei, Jingyi, Sun, Limei, Ling, Yuhang, Wang, Caihong, Wang, Xuedong, Dahlgren, Randy A., Wang, Huili
Aquatic toxicology 2019 v.206 pp. 176-185
Danio rerio, abnormal development, aquatic animals, aquatic environment, brain, chronic exposure, gene expression regulation, hearing, hemorrhage, larvae, microRNA, mitogen-activated protein kinase, nervous system diseases, neurodevelopment, neuroglia, neuromasts, neurotoxicity, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, regulator genes, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, signal transduction, staining, triclosan, vision
Triclosan (TCS) is a prevalent anthropogenic contaminant in aquatic environments and its chronic exposure can lead to a series of neurotoxic effects in zebrafish. Both qRT-PCR and W-ISH identified that TCS exposure resulted in significant up-regulation of miR-137, but downregulation of its regulatory genes (bcl11aa, MAPK6 and Runx1). These target genes are mainly associated with neurodevelopment and the MAPK signaling pathway, and showed especially high expression in the brain. After overexpression or knockdown treatments by manual intervention of miR-137, a series of abnormalities were induced, such as ventricular abnormality, bent spine, yolk cyst, closure of swim sac and venous sinus hemorrhage. The most sensitive larval toxicological endpoint from intervened miR-137 expression was impairment of the central nervous system (CNS), ventricular abnormalities and notochord curvature. Microinjection of microRNA mimics or inhibitors of miR-137 both caused zebrafish malformations. The posterior lateral line neuromasts became obscured and decreased in number in intervened miR-137 groups and TCS-exposure groups. Up-regulation of miR-137 led to more severe neurotoxic effects than its down-regulation. Behavioral observations demonstrated that both TCS exposure and miR-137 over-expression led to inhibited hearing or vision sensitivity. HE staining indicated that hearing and vision abnormalities induced by long-term TCS exposure originated from CNS injury, such as reduced glial cells and loose and hollow fiber structures. The findings of this study enhance our mechanistic understanding of neurotoxicity in aquatic animals in response to TCS exposure. These observations provide theoretical guidance for development of early intervention treatments for nervous system diseases.