Diffusion of small molecules into medaka embryos improved by electroporation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Diffusion of small molecules into fish embryos is essential for many experimental procedures in developmental biology and toxicology. Since we observed a weak uptake of lithium into medaka eggs we started a detailed analysis of its diffusion properties using small fluorescent molecules. RESULTS: Contrary to our expectations, not the rigid outer chorion but instead membrane systems surrounding the embryo/yolk turned out to be the limiting factor for diffusion into medaka eggs. The consequence is a bi-phasic uptake of small molecules first reaching the pervitelline space with a diffusion half-time in the range of a few minutes. This is followed by a slow second phase (half-time in the range of several hours) during which accumulation in the embryo/yolk takes place. Treatment with detergents improved the uptake, but strongly affected the internal distribution of the molecules. Testing electroporation we could establish conditions to overcome the diffusion barrier. Applying this method to lithium chloride we observed anterior truncations in medaka embryos in agreement with its proposed activation of Wnt signalling. CONCLUSIONS: The diffusion of small molecules into medaka embryos is slow, caused by membrane systems underneath the chorion. These results have important implications for pharmacologic/toxicologic techniques like the fish embryo test, which therefore require extended incubation times in order to reach sufficient concentrations in the embryos.
Project description:The adverse effects of alcohol on the developing humans represent a spectrum of structural and neurobehavioral abnormalities, most appropriately termed as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). The mechanism by which ethanol induces FASD is unknown. Human studies of FASD are very limited due to ethical constraints; however, several animal models from nematodes to mammals are utilized to understand the molecular mechanism of this disorder. We have used Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryo-larval development as a unique non-mammalian model to study the molecular mechanism of FASD. Fertilized medaka eggs were exposed to ethanol (0-400 mM) for 48 h post fertilization (hpf) and then maintained in regular embryo rearing medium without ethanol. Viable embryos were harvested on 0, 2, 4 and 6 day post fertilization (dpf) and analyzed for DNA, RNA and protein contents of the embryos. By applying semi-quantitative RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) and quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), RNA samples were further analyzed for seven transcription factors, emx2, en2, iro3, otx2, shh, wnt1 and zic5 which are expressed in the neural tube of medaka embryo during early phase of development. RNA and protein contents of the embryos were significantly reduced by ethanol at 400 mM dose on 4 and 6 dpf compared to the control (no ethanol), and 100 mM ethanol treated embryos. However, significant reduction of DNA was observed only in 4 dpf embryos. Total protein contents of yolk remained unaltered after ethanol treatment. Expression pattern of emx2, en2, iro3, otx2, shh, wnt1, and zic5 mRNAs were found to be developmentally regulated, however, remained unaltered after ethanol treatment. It is therefore concluded that alteration of nucleic acid and protein contents of medaka embryo by ethanol could be used as an indicator of embryonic growth retardation which might be the result of disruption of specific gene function during development.
Project description:Using medaka fish embryo model, toxic effects of silver nanocolloids (SNC, 3.8±1.0nm diameter) on developmental morphology and gene expression profile were investigated. SNC caused morphological changes in embryos including cardiovascular malformations, ischemia, underdeveloped central nervous system and eyes, and kyphosis at exposures of 0.5mg/L and 1.0mg/L.. To determine in vivo distribution of SNC, medaka embryos were exposed to 0.5mg/L for 6 days and subjected to ICP-OES analyses. Silver was detected in medaka embryos and chorion at levels of 16.6±9.3pg and 720±29pg, respectively. TEM analyses showed SNC adhered to the chorion surface and inside the chorion. On investigation of oxidative mechanism, NAC (0.05mM) rescued all embryos by 96-hr post treatment, while 0.5mM GSH did not. NAC blocked lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, medaka oligo DNA microarray and qRT-PCR were used for gene expression profiling in embryos exposed for 48-hr to 0.05mg/L SNC. Six genes relative to embryogenesis and morphogenesis such as ctsL, Tpm1, RBP, mt, atp2a1 and hox6b6 turned out to be affected and their involvement to the above malformations was implied. In conclusion, SNC causes gross malformations in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems in developing medaka embryos through potentially SNC-affected differential expression of a series of genes related to oxidative stress, embryonic cellular proliferation, and morphological development. Three of the stage-21 medaka embryos per sample were exposed in triplicate to 0mg/L (control) and 0.05mg/L SNC for 48 hours. Therefore, for each exposure condition nine of the stage-21 embryos were prepared and used in the SNC exposure test.
Project description:Using medaka fish embryo model, toxic effects of silver nanocolloids (SNC, 3.8±1.0nm diameter) on developmental morphology and gene expression profile were investigated. SNC caused morphological changes in embryos including cardiovascular malformations, ischemia, underdeveloped central nervous system and eyes, and kyphosis at exposures of 0.5mg/L and 1.0mg/L.. To determine in vivo distribution of SNC, medaka embryos were exposed to 0.5mg/L for 6 days and subjected to ICP-OES analyses. Silver was detected in medaka embryos and chorion at levels of 16.6±9.3pg and 720±29pg, respectively. TEM analyses showed SNC adhered to the chorion surface and inside the chorion. On investigation of oxidative mechanism, NAC (0.05mM) rescued all embryos by 96-hr post treatment, while 0.5mM GSH did not. NAC blocked lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, medaka oligo DNA microarray and qRT-PCR were used for gene expression profiling in embryos exposed for 48-hr to 0.05mg/L SNC. Six genes relative to embryogenesis and morphogenesis such as ctsL, Tpm1, RBP, mt, atp2a1 and hox6b6 turned out to be affected and their involvement to the above malformations was implied. In conclusion, SNC causes gross malformations in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems in developing medaka embryos through potentially SNC-affected differential expression of a series of genes related to oxidative stress, embryonic cellular proliferation, and morphological development. Overall design: Three of the stage-21 medaka embryos per sample were exposed in triplicate to 0mg/L (control) and 0.05mg/L SNC for 48 hours. Therefore, for each exposure condition nine of the stage-21 embryos were prepared and used in the SNC exposure test.
Project description:Although 4-O-Methylhonokiol (MH) effects on neuronal and immune cells have been established, it is still unclear whether MH can cause a change in the structure and function of the cardiovascular system. The overarching goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of MH, isolated from Magnolia grandiflora, on the development of the heart and vasculature in a Japanese medaka model in vivo to predict human health risks. We analyzed the toxicity of MH in different life-stages of medaka embryos. MH uptake into medaka embryos was quantified. The LC50 of two different exposure windows (stages 9?36 (0?6 days post fertilization (dpf)) and 25?36 (2?6 dpf)) were 5.3 ± 0.1 ?M and 9.9 ± 0.2 ?M. Survival, deformities, days to hatch, and larval locomotor response were quantified. Wnt 1 was overexpressed in MH-treated embryos indicating deregulation of the Wnt signaling pathway, which was associated with spinal and cardiac ventricle deformities. Overexpression of major proinflammatory mediators and biomarkers of the heart were detected. Our results indicated that the differential sensitivity of MH in the embryos was developmental stage-specific. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that certain molecules can serve as promising markers at the transcriptional and phenotypical levels, responding to absorption of MH in the developing embryo.
Project description:Precise patterning of morphogen molecules and their accurate reading out are of key importance in embryonic development. Recent experiments have visualized distributions of proteins in developing embryos and shown that the gradient of concentration of Bicoid morphogen in Drosophila embryos is established rapidly after fertilization and remains stable through syncytial mitoses. This stable Bicoid gradient is read out in a precise way to distribute Hunchback with small fluctuations in each embryo and in a reproducible way, with small embryo-to-embryo fluctuation. The mechanisms of such stable, precise, and reproducible patterning through noisy cellular processes, however, still remain mysterious. To address these issues, here we develop the one- and three-dimensional stochastic models of the early Drosophila embryo. The simulated results show that the fluctuation in expression of the hunchback gene is dominated by the random arrival of Bicoid at the hunchback enhancer. Slow diffusion of Hunchback protein, however, averages out this intense fluctuation, leading to the precise patterning of distribution of Hunchback without loss of sharpness of the boundary of its distribution. The coordinated rates of diffusion and transport of input Bicoid and output Hunchback play decisive roles in suppressing fluctuations arising from the dynamical structure change in embryos and those arising from the random diffusion of molecules, and give rise to the stable, precise, and reproducible patterning of Bicoid and Hunchback distributions.
Project description:The small freshwater teleost, medaka (Oryzias latipes), has a history of usage in studies of chronic toxicity of liver and biliary system. Recent progress with this model has focused on defining the medaka hepatobiliary system. Here we investigate critical liver function and toxicity by examining the in vivo role and function of the farnesoid X receptor alpha (FXRalpha, NR1H4), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that plays an essential role in the regulation of bile acid homeostasis. Quantitative mRNA analysis of medaka FXRalpha demonstrates differential expression of two FXRalpha isoforms designated Fxralpha1 and Fxralpha2, in both free swimming medaka embryos with remaining yolk (eleutheroembryos, EEs) and adults. Activation of medaka Fxralpha in vivo with GW4064 (a strong FXRalpha agonist) resulted in modification of gene expression for defined FXRalpha gene targets including the bile salt export protein, small heterodimer partner, and cytochrome P450 7A1. Histological examination of medaka liver subsequent to GW4064 exposure demonstrated significant lipid accumulation, cellular and organelle alterations in both hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells of the liver. This report of hepatobiliary injury following GW4064 exposure extends previous investigations of the intrahepatic biliary system in medaka, reveals sensitivity to toxicant exposure, and illustrates the need for added resolution in detection and interpretation of toxic responses in this vertebrate.
Project description:It is generally accepted that the high buoyancy of pelagic marine eggs is due to substantial influx of water across the cell membrane just before ovulation. Here we further develop the theoretical basis by applying laboratory observations of the various components of the fertilized egg in first-principle equations for egg specific gravity (?(egg)) followed by statistical validation. We selected Atlantic cod as a model animal due to the affluent amount of literature on this species, but also undertook additional dedicated experimental works. We found that specific gravity of yolk plus embryo is central in influencing ?(egg) and thereby the buoyancy. However, our established framework documents the effect on ?(egg) of the initial deposition of the heavy chorion material in the gonad prior to spawning. Thereafter, we describe the temporal changes in ?(egg) during incubation: Generally, the eggs showed a slight rise in ?(egg) from fertilization to mid-gastrulation followed by a gradual decrease until full development of main embryonic organs just before hatching. Ontogenetic changes in ?(egg) were significantly associated with volume and mass changes of yolk plus embryo. The initial ?(egg) at fertilization appeared significantly influenced by the chorion volume fraction which is determined by the combination of the final chorion volume of the oocyte and of the degree of swelling (hydrolyzation) prior to spawning. The outlined principles and algorithms are universal in nature and should therefore be applicable to fish eggs in general.
Project description:The developmental toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was investigated following exposure of Oryzias latipes (medaka) embryos to 0.1-1 mg/L of homogeneously dispersed AgNPs for 14 days. During this period, developmental endpoints, including lethality, heart rate, and hatching rate, were evaluated by microscopy for different stages of medaka embryonic development. To compare toxic sensitivity, acute adult toxicity was assessed. There was no difference in acute lethal toxicity between embryo and adult medaka. Interestingly, we found that the increase in stepwise toxicity was dependent on the developmental stage of the embryo. Lethal embryonic toxicity increased from exposure days 1 to 3 and exposure days 5 to 8, whereas there was no change from exposure days 3 to 5. In addition, 7 d exposure to 0.8 mg/L AgNPs resulted in significant heart beat retardation in medaka embryos. AgNPs also caused a dose-dependent decrease in the hatching rate and body length of larvae. These results indicate that AgNP exposure causes severe developmental toxicity to medaka embryos and that toxicity levels are enhanced at certain developmental stages, which should be taken into consideration in assessments of metallic NPs toxicity to embryos.
Project description:Avian embryos have been used for centuries to study development due to the ease of access. Because the embryos are sheltered inside the eggshell, a small window in the shell is ideal for visualizing the embryos and performing different interventions. The window can then be covered, and the embryo returned to the incubator for the desired amount of time, and observed during further development. Up to about 4 days of chicken development (out of 21 days of incubation), when the egg is opened the embryo is on top of the yolk, and its heart is on top of its body. This allows easy imaging of heart formation and heart development using non-invasive techniques, including regular optical microscopy. After day 4, the embryo starts sinking into the yolk, but still imaging technologies, such as ultrasound, can tomographically image the embryo and its heart in vivo. Importantly, because like the human heart the avian heart develops into a four-chambered heart with valves, heart malformations and pathologies that human babies suffer can be replicated in avian embryos, allowing a unique developmental window into human congenital heart disease. Here, we review avian heart formation and provide comparisons to the mammalian heart.
Project description:Zebrafish are a powerful model system to assess the molecular and cellular effects of exposure to toxic chemicals during embryonic development. To study the effects of environmental endocrine disruptors, embryos and larvae are commonly exposed to supraphysiologic concentrations of these compounds in the water, but their bioavailability in zebrafish is largely unknown. One hypothesis is that supraphysiologic concentrations of estrogens in the water are required to achieve physiologic levels in vivo; however, this has not been directly tested. To test this hypothesis, we developed an assay using radiolabeled estradiol ([3H]E2) to measure uptake from water at multiple concentrations and exposure durations in developing zebrafish from 0 to 5 days postfertilization (dpf). We found that [3H]E2 uptake increased with increasing concentration, duration, and developmental stage. Percent uptake from the total volume of treatment solution increased with increasing exposure duration and developmental stage, but remained constant with increasing concentration. We also found that the chorion, an acellular envelope surrounding embryos through 3 dpf, did not substantially affect [3H]E2 uptake. Finally, we found that at 1 dpf, E2 was preferentially taken up by the yolk at multiple exposure durations, while at 2 dpf E2 was preferentially taken up into the embryonic body. Our results support the hypothesis that exposing zebrafish embryos and larvae to supraphysiologic concentrations of estrogens is required to achieve physiologically relevant doses in vivo. The isotopic assay reported here will provide a foundation for determining the uptake of other compounds for teratogenicity, toxicology and drug discovery studies.