Toxicity mechanisms regulating bone differentiation and development defects following abnormal expressions of miR-30c targeted by triclosan in zebrafish

Sci Total Environ. 2022 Aug 13;850:158040. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158040. Online ahead of print.


As a ubiquitous environmental estrogen-disrupting chemical, triclosan (TCS) can induce severe osteotoxicity; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain uncertain. Herein, we evaluated the toxic effects of TCS on the development of cartilage and osteogenesis in 5-dpf zebrafish. Under TCS exposure from 62.5 to 250 μg/L, several osteodevelopmental malformations were observed, such as defect of craniofacial cartilage, pharyngeal arch cartilage dysplasia, and impairments on skeletal mineralization. Further, the morphology of mature chondrocytes became swollen and deformed, their number decreased, nucleus displacement occurred, and most immature chondrocytes were crowded at both ends of ceratobranchial. SEM observation of larval caudal fin revealed that, the layer of collagen fibers and the mineralized calcium nodules were significantly decreased, with the collagen fibers becoming shorter upon TCS exposure. The activity of bone-derived alkaline phosphatase significantly reduced, and marker functional genes related to cartilage and osteoblast development were abnormally expressed. RNA-seq and bioinformatics analysis indicated, that changes in marker genes intimately related to the negative regulation of miR-30c-5p overexpression targeted by TCS, and the up-regulation of miR-30c induced bone developmental defects by inhibiting the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway. These findings were confirmed by artificially intervening the expression of miR-30c and using BMP pathway agonists in vivo. In sum, TCS induced osteototoxicity by targeting miR-30c up-regulation and interfering in the BMP signaling pathway. These findings enhance mechanistic understanding of TCS-induced spontaneous bone disorders and bone metastatic diseases. Further research is necessary to monitor chronic TCS-exposure levels in surrounding environments and develop relevant safety precautions based on TCS environmental risk.

Keywords: BMP signaling pathway; Osteototoxicity; Triclosan; Zebrafish; miR-30c-5p.