Thiobencarb induces phenotypic abnormalities, apoptosis, and cardiovascular toxicity in zebrafish embryos through oxidative stress and inflammation

Garam An, Junho Park, Whasun Lim, Gwonhwa Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Thiobencarb is a representative herbicide used on rice paddies. Because thiobencarb is used extensively on agricultural lands, especially on paddy fields, there is a high risk of unintended leaks into aquatic ecosystems. For this reason, several studies have investigated and reported on the toxicity of thiobencarb to aquatic species. In European eels, thiobencarb affected acetylcholinesterase levels in plasma and impaired adenosine triphosphatase activity in their gills. In medaka, thiobencarb-exposed embryos showed lower viability. However, molecular mechanisms underlying thiobencarb-mediated embryotoxicity have yet to be clarified. Therefore, the objective of our study was to investigate its mechanism of toxicity using zebrafish embryos. The viability of zebrafish embryos decreased upon exposure to thiobencarb and various phenotypic abnormalities were observed at concentrations lower than the lethal dose. The developmental toxicity of thiobencarb was mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines (il1b, cxcl8, cxcl18b, and cox2a) and excessive generation of reactive oxygen species due to the downregulation of genes such as catalase, sod1, and sod2, which encode antioxidant enzymes. In addition, severe defects of the cardiovascular system were identified in response to thiobencarb exposure. Specifically, deformed cardiac looping, delayed common cardinal vein (CCV) regression, and interrupted dorsal aorta (DA)-posterior cardinal vein (PCV) segregation were observed. Our results provide an essential resource that demonstrates molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity of thiobencarb on non-target organisms, which may contribute to the establishment of a mitigation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109440
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

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 ). Also, this research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. NRF-2019R1A6A1A10073079 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cardiovascular toxicity
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Thiobencarb
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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