• Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Proper formation of the vascular system is necessary for embryogenesis, and chemical disruption of vascular development may be a key event driving developmental toxicity. In order to test the effect of environmental chemicals on this critical process, we evaluated a quantitative assay in transgenic zebrafish using angiogenesis inhibitors that target VEGFR2 (PTK787) or EGFR (AG1478). Both PTK787 and AG1478 exposure impaired intersegmental vessel (ISV) sprouting, while AG1478 also produced caudal and pectoral fin defects at concentrations below those necessary to blunt ISV morphogenesis. The functional consequences of vessel toxicity during early development included decreased body length and survival in juvenile cohorts developmentally exposed to inhibitor concentrations sufficient to completely block ISV sprouting angiogenesis. These data show that concentration-dependent disruption of the presumed targets for these inhibitors produce adverse outcomes at advanced life stages.
    Reproductive Toxicology 06/2014; 48. DOI:10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.05.014 · 2.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to arsenic in its inorganic form, arsenite, causes adverse effects to many different organs and tissues. Here, we have investigated arsenite-induced adverse effects on vascular tissues in the model organism zebrafish, Danio rerio. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to arsenite at different exposure windows and the susceptibility to vascular tissue damage was recorded at 72 hours post fertilization (hpf). Intersegmental vessel sprouting and growth was most perturbed by exposure to arsenite during the 24–48 hpf window, while disruption in the condensation of the caudal vein plexus was more often observed at the 48–72 hpf exposure window, reflecting when these structures develop during normal embryogenesis. The vascular growth rate was decreased by arsenite exposure, and deviated from that of control embryos at around 24–26.5 hpf. We further mapped changes in expression of key regulators of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Downregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1/fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (vegfr1/flt1) expression was evident already at 24 hpf, coinciding with the decreased vascular growth rate. At later time points, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (mmp9) expression was upregulated, suggesting that arsenite affects the composition of the extracellular matrix. In total, the expression of eight key factors involved in different aspects of vascularization was significantly altered by arsenic exposure. In conclusion, our results show that arsenite is a potent vascular disruptor in the developing zebrafish embryo, a finding that calls for an evaluation of arsenite as a developmental vascular toxicant in mammalian model systems.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Primary vesicoureteric reflux (VUR), the retrograde flow of urine from the bladder toward the kidneys, results from a developmental anomaly of the vesicoureteric valve mechanism, and is often associated with other urinary tract anomalies. It is the most common urological problem in children, with an estimated prevalence of 1-2%, and is a major cause of hypertension in childhood and of renal failure in childhood or adult life. We present the results of a genetic linkage and association scan using 900,000 markers. Our linkage results show a large number of suggestive linkage peaks, with different results in two groups of families, suggesting that VUR is even more genetically heterogeneous than previously imagined. The only marker achieving P < 0.02 for linkage in both groups of families is 270 kb from EMX2. In three sibships, we found recessive linkage to KHDRBS3, previously reported in a Somali family. In another family we discovered sex-reversal associated with VUR, implicating PRKX, for which there was weak support for dominant linkage in the overall data set. Several other candidate genes are suggested by our linkage or association results, and four of our linkage peaks are within copy-number variants recently found to be associated with renal hypodysplasia. Undoubtedly there are many genes related to VUR. Our study gives support to some loci suggested by earlier studies as well as suggesting new ones, and provides numerous indications for further investigations.
    01/2014; 2(1):7-29. DOI:10.1002/mgg3.22