Key Event Overview
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AOPs Including This Key Event
|AOP Name||Event Type||Essentiality|
|Aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation leading to embryolethality via cardiotoxicty||KE||Strong|
Level of Biological Organization
How this Key Event works
This key event applies to the disruption of cardiogenesis early enough in embryogenesis to result in gross morphological alterations leading to reduced cardiac function.
With respect to dioxin-like compounds that are strong AHR agonists, the malformations that have been observed following embryonic exposure are summarized in table 1.
Table 1: Cardiotoxic effects of strong AHR-agonists
|Zebrafish Embryo||Chicken Embryo||Mouse|
21 Days old
ANF= cardiac atrial natriuretic factor; an indicator of cardiac stress. Source: (Kopf and Walker 2009)
How it is Measured or Detected
Evidence Supporting Taxonomic Applicability
Birds, fish and mammals are all susceptible to cardiotoxicity following embryonic chemical exposure.
1. Carro, T., Dean, K., and Ottinger, M. A. (2013a). Effects of an environmentally relevant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture on embryonic survival and cardiac development in the domestic chicken. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23(6), 1325-1331.
2. Carro, T., Taneyhill, L. A., and Ottinger, M. A. (2013b). The effects of an environmentally relevant 58 congener polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture on cardiac development in the chick embryo. Environ. Toxicol. Chem.
3. DeWitt, J. C., Millsap, D. S., Yeager, R. L., Heise, S. S., Sparks, D. W., and Henshel, D. S. (2006). External heart deformities in passerine birds exposed to environmental mixtures of polychlorinated biphenyls during development. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 25(2), 541-551.
4. Heid, S. E., Walker, M. K., and Swanson, H. I. (2001). Correlation of cardiotoxicity mediated by halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons to aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation. Toxicol. Sci 61(1), 187-196.
5. Walker, M. K., and Catron, T. F. (2000). Characterization of cardiotoxicity induced by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and related chemicals during early chick embryo development. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 167(3), 210-221.
6. Walker, M. K., Pollenz, R. S., and Smith, S. M. (1997). Expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and AhR nuclear translocator during chick cardiogenesis is consistent with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced heart defects. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 143(2), 407-419.
7. Kopf, P. G., and Walker, M. K. (2009). Overview of developmental heart defects by dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides. J. Environ. Sci. Health C. Environ. Carcinog. Ecotoxicol. Rev. 27(4), 276-285.