Cisplatin exposure impairs ionocytes and hair cells in the skin of zebrafish embryos

Giun Yi Hung, Ciao Ling Wu, Yi Ling Chou, Chiang Ting Chien, Jiun Lin Horng, Li Yih Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to assess the sublethal effects of a platinum-based compound, cisplatin, using a zebrafish model. Zebrafish embryos were incubated in different concentrations of cisplatin at 0–96 h post-fertilization. Using a non-invasive, scanning ion-selective electrode technique (SIET), we measured the functions of hair cells (Ca2+ influx) and ionocytes ([H+] gradients). The survival rate, hatching rate, phenotype, body length, whole-body ion (Na+, Cl, and Ca2+) and Pt contents were also determined. The effects of cisplatin on zebrafish embryos were demonstrated as first impairing hair cell function (at 1 μM of cisplatin), the hair cell number, and body ion content of Cl (at 10 μM of cisplatin), then decreasing ionocyte acid secretion and overall body ion contents of Na+ and Ca2+ (at 50 μM of cisplatin). The body length and ionocyte density decreased at 100 μM of cisplatin, and survival decreased at 500 μM of cisplatin. As the cisplatin concentration increased, the accumulation of Pt in fish embryos also increased. These results revealed that hair cells are significantly more susceptible to cisplatin toxicity than ionocytes. By determining the lowest observed effective concentration of cisplatin that caused in vivo functional alterations of zebrafish hair cells and skin ionocytes, this model demonstrated 500-fold greater sensitivity than by detecting changes in survival, for early assessment of the effects of platinum-based chemotherapeutic drugs on fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr


  • Cisplatin
  • Hair cell
  • Ionocyte
  • Platinum-based
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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