2019 Volume 6 Issue 2 Pages 31-36
In this study, we assessed embryonic developmental toxicity and teratogenicity of lithium (Li) on medaka (Oryzias latipes) and predict the molecular mechanisms of their effects using a nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) technique and bioinformatics analysis. The microscopic observation revealed that the 1 mg/L LiCl treatment causes the most severe deformation effects, such as thrombus, heart hypertrophy, deformation of eyes, and growth retardation to embryos. The RNA-seq analysis identified 2,483 up- and down-regulated genes, such as histogenesis and organ growth related genes, in 2 day post-fertilization embryos after treatment with nsPEF and 1 mg/L LiCl. In addition, bioinformatic analyses showed that LiCl affects several aspects of gene ontology, such as molecular functions and cellular components, and some pathways, such as spliceosome, cell cycle, selenocompound metabolism, TGF-β signaling, and RNA degradation. The upregulation of GSK3B (signal transduction and cell growth), BAX (apoptosis), and MAP3K8 (cell death, arrest of cell cycle, and inflammation) genes were also observed in embryos exposed to LiCl. Our results suggest that the incorporation of Li compounds into medaka eggs using nsPEF shows adverse effects to the development and teratogenicity, and that these toxic effects may be affected by the alterations of certain gene expression in medaka embryos.