Multibiomarker Responses of Juvenile Stages of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to Subchronic Exposure to Polycyclic Musk Tonalide

  • Jana Blahova
  • Lenka Divisova
  • Lucie Plhalova
  • Vladimira Enevova
  • Martin Hostovsky
  • Veronika Doubkova
  • Petr Marsalek
  • Petr Fictum
  • Zdenka Svobodova


Synthetic polycyclic musks, widely used as additives in personal care products, are present in both biotic and abiotic matrices of the aquatic environment at concentrations of ng/l to µg/l. Although they are determined at comparatively low concentrations, these levels are biologically relevant and pose a significant growing risk as stressors to aquatic organisms. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of 28-day-long exposure to polycyclic musk tonalide in zebrafish juvenile stages (Danio rerio) using selected biomarkers. Environmentally relevant concentrations of tonalide caused significant changes in selected enzyme activities in the experimental groups exposed to the highest concentrations. The activity of glutathione S-transferase and lipid peroxidation increased significantly (p < 0.05) after exposure to the highest concentration (50,000 ng/l) compared with the control. A similar trend was observed in catalase activity; there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) after exposure to two highest concentrations of tonalide (5000 and 50,000 ng/l). In addition, a statistically significant decrease (p < 0.05) in glutathione reductase activity was found in the lowest test concentration of tonalide (50 ng/l). None of the tested concentrations resulted in histopathological changes in liver, kidney, skin, or gill. Furthermore, no effects on body weight, body length, specific growth rate, and behavior were observed. Our results showed that tonalide exposure induced profound changes in the activities of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes, such changes representing an adaptive response of the fish organism to tonalide toxicity.



This research was supported by a Grant from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno (IGA VFU 248/2015/FVHE). The authors thank Mr. Matthew Nicholls for paper improvement and English correction.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Blahova
    • 1
  • Lenka Divisova
    • 1
  • Lucie Plhalova
    • 1
  • Vladimira Enevova
    • 1
  • Martin Hostovsky
    • 1
  • Veronika Doubkova
    • 1
  • Petr Marsalek
    • 1
  • Petr Fictum
    • 2
  • Zdenka Svobodova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Protection, Welfare and Behaviour, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and EcologyUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

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