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Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(5):2952-61. doi: 10.1021/es500263x. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Sediment contaminated with the Azo Dye disperse yellow 7 alters cellular stress- and androgen-related transcription in Silurana tropicalis larvae.

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Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department, Royal Military College of Canada , Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7K 7B4.


Azo dyes are the most commonly used type of dye, accounting for 60-70% of all organic dye production worldwide. They are used as direct dyes in the textile, leather, printing ink, and cosmetic industries. The aim of this study was to assess the lethal and sublethal effects of the disazo dye Disperse Yellow 7 (DY7) in frogs to address a knowledge gap regarding mechanisms of toxicity and the potential for endocrine disrupting properties. Larvae of Silurana tropicalis (Western clawed frog) were exposed to DY7-contaminated water (0 to 22 μg/L) and sediment (0 to 209 μg/g) during early larval development. The concentrations used included the range of similar azo dyes found in surface waters in Canada. A significant decrease in tadpole survivorship was observed at 209 μg/g while there was a significant increase in malformations at the two highest concentrations tested in sediment. In the 209 μg/g treatment, DY7 significantly induced hsp70 (2.5-fold) and hsp90 (2.4-fold) mRNA levels, suggesting that cells required oxidative protection. The same treatment also altered the expression of two androgen-related genes: decreased ar (2-fold) and increased srd5a2 (2.6-fold). Furthermore, transcriptomics generated new hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of toxic action of DY7. Gene network analysis revealed that high concentrations of DY7 in sediment induced cellular stress-related gene transcription and affected genes associated with necrotic cell death, chromosome condensation, and mRNA processing. This study is the first to report on sublethal end points for azo dyes in amphibians, a growing environmental pollutant of concern for aquatic species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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