In-vitro screening of organotin compounds and sediment extracts for cytotoxicity to fish cells

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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 154–161, 2011


The present study reports an in vitro screening method for contaminants in sediment samples utilizing an RTG-2 cell line. This technique integrates cytotoxicity testing with analytical chemistry with the aim of achieving a toxicity evaluation of the sediment sample. The toxic effect of individual organotin (OT) compounds and their presence in the sediment sample is the focus of the present study; however, other contaminants are also discussed. The following OT compounds: tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), monobutyltin (MBT), triphenyltin (TPT), diphenyltin (DPT), and a sediment solvent extract are exposed to the RTG-2 fish cell line. Both the alamar blue (AB) and neutral red (NR) assays are used to assess cytotoxicity after 24-h and 96-h exposure. Methodology for preparation of a sediment solvent extract suitable for biological testing and analytical determination is also described. With the RTG-2 cells, the AB and NR assays had comparable sensitivity for each individual OT compound exposure after 24 h, with TPT being the most toxic compound tested. The individual OT compound concentrations required to induce a 50% toxic effect on the cells (369 ng ml1 TBT, 1,905 ng ml1 DBT) did not equate to the concentrations of these contaminants present in the sediment extract that induced a 50% effect on the cells (294 ng ml1 TBT, 109 ng ml1 DBT). The solvent extract therefore exhibited a greater toxicity, and this suggests that the toxic effects observed were not due to OT compounds alone. The presence of other contaminants in the solvent extract is confirmed with chemical analysis, warranting further toxicity testing of contaminant mixtures and exposure to the cell line to further elucidate a complete toxicity evaluation.




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