Novel biomarkers of perchlorate exposure in zebrafish

Sandeep Mukhi, James A. Carr, Todd A. Anderson, Reynaldo Patiño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Perchlorate inhibits iodide uptake by thyroid follicles and lowers thyroid hormone production. Although several effects of perchlorate on the thyroid system have been reported, the utility of these pathologies as markers of environmental perchlorate exposures has not been adequately assessed. The present study examined time-course and concentration-dependent effects of perchlorate on thyroid follicle hypertrophy, colloid depletion, and angiogenesis; alterations in whole-body thyroxine (T4) levels; and somatic growth and condition factor of subadult and adult zebrafish. Changes in the intensity of the colloidal T4 ring previously observed in zebrafish also were examined immunohistochemically. Three-month-old zebrafish were exposed to ammonium perchlorate at measured perchlorate concentrations of 0, 11, 90, 1,131, and 11,480 ppb for 12 weeks and allowed to recover in clean water for 12 weeks. At two weeks of exposure, the lowest-observed-effective concentrations (LOECs) of perchlorate that induced angiogenesis and depressed the intensity of colloidal T4 ring were 90 and 1,131 ppb, respectively; other parameters were not affected (whole-body T4 was not determined at this time). At 12 weeks of exposure, LOECs for colloid depletion, hypertrophy, angiogenesis, and colloidal T4 ring were 11,480, 1,131, 90, and 11 ppb, respectively. All changes were reversible, but residual effects on angiogenesis and colloidal T4 ring intensity were still present after 12 weeks of recovery (LOEC, 11,480 ppb). Whole-body T 4 concentration, body growth (length and weight), and condition factor were not affected by perchlorate. The sensitivity and longevity of changes in colloidal T4 ring intensity and angiogenesis suggest their usefulness as novel markers of perchlorate exposure. The 12-week LOEC for colloidal T4 ring is the lowest reported for any perchlorate biomarker in aquatic vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1115
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Angiogenesis
  • Hypertrophy
  • Perchlorate
  • Thyroid
  • Thyroxine


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