Toxicological assessment of trace β-diketone antibiotic mixtures on zebrafish (Danio rerio) by proteomic analysis

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 25;9(7):e102731. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102731. eCollection 2014.


β-Diketone antibiotics (DKAs) can produce chronic toxicity in aquatic ecosystems due to their pseudo-persistent in the environment. In this study, after long-term DKA exposure to zebrafish (Danio rerio), 47 protein spots had greater than 2-fold differential expression as compared to the control; there were 26 positive proteins with 14 up-regulated and 12 down-regulated. The main functions of the differentially expressed proteins were related to signal transduction mechanisms and the cytoskeleton. Of the 26 target genes, 11 genes were consistent between their transcriptional and translational levels. Low dose DKA exposure (4.69 and 9.38 mg/L) stimulated spontaneous movement in zebrafish. Changes in both creatine kinase activity and creatine concentration showed a similar trend to zebrafish activity. There was no obvious change in SV-BA after DKA exposure, while a reduction of heart rate was concomitant with increasing DKA concentrations. DKAs also induced severe histopathological changes in zebrafish heart tissue, such as dissolution of cristae and vacuolation of mitochondria. These results demonstrated that trace-level DKA exposure affects a variety of cellular and biological processes in zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem
  • Fluoroquinolones / toxicity*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Proteomics*
  • Tetracyclines / toxicity*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics


  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Tetracyclines
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Zebrafish Proteins

Grant support

This work is jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31270548, and 21377100), the Key Project of Zhejiang Provincial Environmetal Protetion Department (2012B014), and the Science and Technology Project of Wenzhou City (20100299). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.