Bensulide-induced oxidative stress causes developmental defects of cardiovascular system and liver in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Miji Kim, Garam An, Junho Park, Gwonhwa Song, Whasun Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Bensulide is an organophosphate herbicide commonly used in agricultural crops; however, no studies have reported on its toxic effects in the embryonic development of vertebrates, particularly gene expression level and cellular response. Therefore, to identify developmental toxicity, zebrafish eggs 8 h post-fertilization (hpf) were exposed to bensulide concentrations of up to 3 mg/L. The results indicated that exposure to 3 mg/L bensulide inhibited the hatching of all eggs and decreased the size of the body, eyes, and inner ear. There were demonstrated effects observed in the cardiovascular system and liver caused by bensulide in fli1:eGFP and L-fabp:dsRed transgenic zebrafish models, respectively. Following exposure to 3 mg/L bensulide, normal heart development, including cardiac looping, was disrupted and the heart rate of 96 hpf zebrafish larvae decreased to 16.37%. Development of the liver, the main detoxification organ, was also inhibited by bensulide, and after exposure to 3 mg/L bensulide its size reduced to 41.98%. Additionally, exposure to bensulide resulted in inhibition of antioxidant enzyme expression and an increase in ROS levels by up to 238.29%. Collectively, we identified various biological responses associated with the toxicity of bensulide, which led to various organ malformations and cytotoxic effects in zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131577
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF ) grant funded by the Korea government ( MSIT ) (grant number: 2021R1A2C2005841 & 2021R1C1C1009807 ). This research was also supported by the Health Fellowship Foundation. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number: 2019R1A6A1A10073079 ). The authors thank Sohyung Kim (Seoul National University, Korea) for technical assistance in data visualization.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Aquatic organisms
  • Heart development
  • Hepatogenesis
  • Organophosphate herbicide
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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