Special Issue "Contaminant Effects on Zebrafish Embryos"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Markus Brinkmann

School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B3, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Physiologically-based toxicokinetic modelling; Inter-species extrapolation of uptake and effects of contaminants in fish; Influence of environmental factors on the bioavailability of environmental contaminants to aquatic organisms
Guest Editor
Dr. Sabrina Schiwy

Department of Ecosystem Analysis, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Animal alternatives based on zebrafish embryos; Analysis of embryotoxicity, teratogenicity, and mechanistic effects in zebrafish embryos; Zebrafish as model species in human toxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the past decades, the early-life stages of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) have become an important model system in biomedical research. Apart from being easy to culture and breed under laboratory conditions, zebrafish exhibit virtually transparent embryos and their genome has been systematically sequenced and annotated since 2001, making them valuable models in developmental and genetic research. These advantages have also made them a popular species in toxicological research, and the fish embryo toxicity test (FET) test has since replaced acute fish tests for whole-effluent testing in several countries globally. In fact, since fish embryos are believed to be non-sentient, the FET test is not considered an animal experiment in many legislations. With the adoption of an OECD FET test guideline for chemical testing (OECD 236) in 2013, it is expected that this test will soon be the gold standard for assessments of acute embryotoxicity and teratogenicity and might eventually replace acute fish tests altogether.

The most recent and innovative toxicological research using zebrafish embryos, however, goes far beyond these classical endpoints. In addition to ecotoxicogenomics, research on neurotoxic and behavioral effects has been facilitated by the availability of economic and user-friendly video tracking systems, and advances in mass-spectrometry have enabled single-embryo proteomic, metabolomic and bioaccumulation research. With the growing popularity of CRISPR/Cas9 for targeted genome editing, we can only speculate regarding the ground-breaking research we will witness in the upcoming decades.

For this Special Issue, we invite high-quality original research papers, short communications and reviews focussing on contaminant effects on zebrafish embryos. Studies may include, but are not limited to classical and modern endpoints, wild-type and genetically modified strains, studies related to environmental and human health impacts, research on single chemicals, mixtures and complex environmental samples. We welcome computational or predictive studies and meta-analyses.

Dr. Markus Brinkmann
Dr. Sabrina Schiwy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Zebrafish
  • Toxicology
  • Embryotoxicity
  • Teratogenicity
  • Developmental Biology
  • Mechanism-specific Effects
  • Behavioral Effects
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Life Stage Extrapolation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxicity and Toxicity Evaluation of Xanthone Crude Extract on Hypoxic Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
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Xanthone is an organic compound mostly found in mangosteen pericarp and widely known for its anti-proliferating effect on cancer cells. In this study, we evaluated the effects of xanthone crude extract (XCE) and α-mangostin (α-MG) on normoxic and hypoxic human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) [...] Read more.
Xanthone is an organic compound mostly found in mangosteen pericarp and widely known for its anti-proliferating effect on cancer cells. In this study, we evaluated the effects of xanthone crude extract (XCE) and α-mangostin (α-MG) on normoxic and hypoxic human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells and their toxicity towards zebrafish embryos. XCE was isolated using a mixture of acetone and water (80:20) and verified via high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Both XCE and α-MG showed higher anti-proliferation effects on normoxic HepG2 cells compared to the control drug, 5-fluorouracil (IC50 = 50.23 ± 1.38, 8.39 ± 0.14, and 143.75 ± 15.31 μg/mL, respectively). In hypoxic conditions, HepG2 cells were two times less sensitive towards XCE compared to normoxic HepG2 cells (IC50 = 109.38 ± 1.80 μg/mL) and three times less sensitive when treated with >500 μg/mL 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). A similar trend was seen with the α-MG treatment on hypoxic HepG2 cells (IC50 = 10.11 ± 0.05 μg/mL) compared to normoxic HepG2 cells. However, at a concentration of 12.5 μg/mL, the α-MG treatment caused tail-bend deformities in surviving zebrafish embryos, while no malformation was observed when embryos were exposed to XCE and 5-FU treatments. Our study suggests that both XCE and α-MG are capable of inhibiting HepG2 cell proliferation during normoxic and hypoxic conditions, more effectively than 5-FU. However, XCE is the preferred option as no malformation was observed in surviving zebrafish embryos and it is more cost efficient than α-MG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contaminant Effects on Zebrafish Embryos)

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