Methylnitrosourea, dimethylbenzanthracene and benzoapyrene differentially affect redox pathways, apoptosis and immunity in zebrafish

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2020 Jul;39(7):920-929. doi: 10.1177/0960327120905961. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


Cancer continues to be a major cause of mortality globally. Zebrafish present suitable models for studying the mechanisms of genotoxic carcinogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between oxidant-antioxidant status, apoptosis and immunity in zebrafish that were exposed to three different genotoxic carcinogens methylnitrosourea, dimethylbenzanthracene, benzoapyrene and methylnitrosourea + dimethylbenzanthracene starting from early embryogenesis for 30 days. Lipid peroxidation, nitric oxide levels, superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase activities and mRNA levels of apoptosis genes p53, bax, casp3a, casp2 and immunity genes fas, tnfα and ifnγ1 were evaluated. The disruption of the oxidant-antioxidant balance accompanied by altered expressions of apoptotic and immunity related genes were observed in different levels according to the carcinogen applied. Noteworthy, ifnγ expressions decreased in all carcinogen-exposed groups. Our results will provide basic data for further carcinogenesis research in zebrafish models.

Keywords: Methylnitrosourea; antioxidant; apoptosis; benzoapyrene; dimethylbenzanthracene; immunity; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / toxicity*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Methylnitrosourea / toxicity*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Carcinogens
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Methylnitrosourea
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Transferase