Endosulfan I and endosulfan sulfate disrupts zebrafish embryonic development

Aquat Toxicol. 2009 Dec 13;95(4):355-61. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2009.10.008. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


Fish in agricultural and remote areas may be exposed to endosulfan and its degradation products as a result of direct runoff, atmospheric transport and deposition. The following study used the zebrafish developmental model to investigate the responses to endosulfan I and endosulfan sulfate, the major degradation product of endosulfan I and II. Embryos were dechorionated and waterborne exposed to the endosulfan I or endosulfan sulfate from 6 to 120h post-fertilization (hpf). Endosulfan I exposure concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 10microg/L and endosulfan sulfate from 1 to 100microg/L. Water solutions were renewed every 24h and fish were scored for overt developmental and behavioral abnormalities. Chemical analysis was performed on water, whole embryo, and larvae samples to determine waterborne exposure concentrations and tissue concentrations throughout the 5-day period. The most sensitive toxicity endpoint for both endosulfan I and endosulfan sulfate was an abnormal response of the embryo/larvae to touch, suggesting that endosulfan I and sulfate are developmentally neurotoxic. The waterborne exposure EC(50)s for inhibition of touch response for endosulfan I and endosulfan sulfate were 2.2microg/L and 23microg/L, respectively. The endosulfans were highly concentrated by the organisms, and the inhibition of touch response tissue EC(50), determined from the measured tissue concentrations, was 367ng/g for endosulfan I and 4552ng/g for endosulfan sulfate.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / abnormalities
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects
  • Endosulfan / analogs & derivatives*
  • Endosulfan / analysis
  • Endosulfan / metabolism
  • Endosulfan / toxicity*
  • Fresh Water / chemistry
  • Insecticides / analysis
  • Insecticides / metabolism
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*
  • Zebrafish / abnormalities
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / metabolism


  • Insecticides
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • endosulfan sulfate
  • Endosulfan