A combined DNA-microarray and mechanism-specific toxicity approach with zebrafish embryos to investigate the pollution of river sediments

Thomas Kosmehl, Jens C. Otte, Lixin Yang, J.B. Legradi, Kerstin Bluhm, Christian Zinsmeister, Steffen H. Keiter, Georg Reifferscheid, Werner Manz, Thomas Braunbeck, Uwe Strähle, Henner Hollert

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The zebrafish embryo has repeatedly proved to be a useful model for the analysis of effects by environmental toxicants. This proof-of-concept study was performed to investigate if an approach combining mechanism-specific bioassays with microarray techniques can obtain more in-depth insights into the ecotoxicity of complex pollutant mixtures as present, e.g., in sediment extracts. For this end, altered gene expression was compared to data from established bioassays as well as to results from chemical analysis. Mechanism-specific biotests indicated a defined hazard potential of the sediment extracts, and microarray analysis revealed several classes of significantly regulated genes which could be related to the hazard potential. Results indicate that potential classes of contaminants can be assigned to sediment extracts by both classical biomarker genes and corresponding expression profile analyses of known substances. However, it is difficult to distinguish between specific responses and more universal detoxification of the organism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2012


  • Animals,Embryo, Nonmammalian,Embryo, Nonmammalian: drug effects,Gene Expression Profiling,Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental,Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: drug ef,Geologic Sediments,Geologic Sediments: analysis,Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis,Rivers,Teratogens,Teratogens: toxicity,Water Pollutants, Chemical,Water Pollutants, Chemical: analysis,Water Pollutants, Chemical: toxicity,Zebrafish

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