Identification of apoptosis and macrophage migration events in paraquat-induced oxidative stress using a zebrafish model

Qiang Wang, Shuai Liu, Dayong Hu, Zhen Wang, Ling Wang, Tianfu Wu, Zhuanbin Wu, Chandra Mohan, Ai Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aims Paraquat (PQ) is a pesticide highly toxic to human beings, and a well-known trigger of oxidative stress. Although several animal models of PQ poisoning have been developed, some disadvantages limit their application in vivo. A zebrafish model was used in the present study to better define mechanisms of oxidative stress injury induced by PQ. Main methods The toxicity of PQ was evaluated in the AB strain of zebrafish, and apoptosis was assessed by acridine orange staining. Macrophage migration was identified using the TG (zlyz:EGFP) transgenic strain, and angiogenesis was observed using the fli1a-EGFP casper strain. Following the validation of gene changes by zebrafish-based in vivo quantitative real-time PCR, network analysis was performed using the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software. Key findings We first established the LC50 of PQ in the zebrafish model, and then found that robust oxidative stress and antioxidant genes were activated after PQ exposure. Moreover, apoptosis and distinct macrophage activation and migration were identified for the first time in PQ-exposed zebrafish. Utilizing this model, both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways involved in PQ-induced apoptosis were elucidated. We further demonstrated that macrophage migration was specifically induced by PQ, and that Rho family members and JNK-MMP13 signaling participated in this process. Significance Zebrafish is a promising tool for investigating the mechanisms of oxidative stress injury induced by PQ, and for screening effective anti-oxidant drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalLife Sciences
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016


  • Apoptosis
  • Macrophage migration
  • Oxidative stress
  • Paraquat
  • Zebrafish model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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