In vivo evaluation of carbon fullerene toxicity using embryonic zebrafish.
There is a pressing need to develop rapid whole animal-based testing assays to assess the potential toxicity of engineered nanomaterials. To meet this challenge, the embryonic zebrafish model was employed to determine the toxicity of fullerenes. Embryonic zebrafish were exposed to graded concentrations of fullerenes [C(60), C(70), and C(60)(OH)(24)] during early embryogenesis and the resulting morphological and cellular responses were defined. Exposure to 200 μg/L C(60) and C(70) induced a significant increased in malformations, pericardial edema, and mortality; while the response to C(60)(OH)(24) exposure was less pronounced at concentrations an order of magnitude higher. Exposure to C(60) induced both necrotic and apoptotic cellular death throughout the embryo. While C(60)(OH)(24) induced an increase in embryonic cellular death, it did not induce apoptosis. Our findings concur with results obtained in other models indicating that C(60)(OH)(24) is significantly less toxic than C(60). These studies also suggest that that the embryonic zebrafish model is well-suited for the rapid assessment of nanomaterial toxicity.