Alpha radiation exposure decreases apoptotic cells in zebrafish embryos subsequently exposed to the chemical stressor, Cd

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3831-3839
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


The aim of this study was to demonstrate that zebrafish embryos subjected to a priming exposure provided by one environmental stressor (low-dose alpha particles) can induce an adaptive response against a subsequent challenging exposure provided by another environmental stressor (heavy metal Cd). The effect thus identified would be an antagonistic multiple stressor effect. The effects of alpha particle radiation and/or Cd on whole embryos were studied through quantification of apoptotic signals at 24 h post-fertilization (hpf). Embryos were stained with the vital dye acridine orange, followed by counting the stained cells. For each set of experiments, 30 dechorionated embryos were divided into three groups, each having ten embryos. The three groups of embryos were referred to as (A) the control group, which received no more further treatments after dechorionation, (B) Cd-treated group, which did not receive any priming exposure and would receive a challenging exposure at 10 hpf and (C) (alpha + Cd)-treated group, which would receive both priming and challenging exposures. We defined the normalized net number of apoptotic signals in the (alpha + Cd)-treated group as NC* = [(apoptotic signals for (alpha + Cd)-treated group - average apoptotic signals for the corresponding control group)/average apoptotic signals for the corresponding control group] and that in the Cd-treated group as NB* = [(apoptotic signals for Cd-treated group - average apoptotic signals for the corresponding control group)/ average apoptotic signals for the corresponding control group]. By using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U statistic, we were able to show that NC* was significantly smaller than NB*(p = 0. 006). These demonstrated an antagonistic multiple stressor effect between ionizing radiation and Cd through the induction of an adaptive response by the ionizing radiation against subsequent exposures to Cd. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Research Area(s)

  • Adaptive response, Alpha particles, Cadmium, Ionizing radiation, Multiple stressor effect, Zebrafish embryos

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