Affordable Access

Liver toxicity of macrolide antibiotics in zebrafish

  • Zhang, Miao-qing
  • Chen, Bo
  • Zhang, Jing-pu
  • Chen, Ning
  • Liu, Chun-zhao
  • Hu, Chang-qin
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Institutional Repository of Institute of Process Engineering, CAS (IPE-IR)
External links


Macrolide antibiotics (macrolides) are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics worldwide and are used for a wide range of infections, but macrolides also expose people to the risk of adverse events include hepatotoxicity. Here, we report the liver toxicity of macrolides with different structures in zebrafish. The absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology (ADMET) parameters of macrolide compounds were predicted and contrasted by utilizing in silico analysis. Fluorescence imaging and Oil Red O stain assays showed all the tested macrolide drugs induced liver degeneration, changed liver size and liver steatosis in larval zebrafish. Through RNA-seq analysis, we found seven co-regulated differentially expressed genes (co-DEGs) associated with metabolism, apoptosis and immune system biological processes, and two co-regulated significant pathways including amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism and apoptosis signaling pathway. We found that only fosab of seven co-DEGs was in the two co-regulated significant pathways. fosab encoded proto-oncogene c-Fos, which was closely associated with liver diseases. The whole-mount in situ hybridization showed high transcription of c-Fos induced by macrolide compounds mainly in the liver region of zebrafish larvae. Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage assays revealed that macrolides exerts significant cytotoxic effects on L02 cells. qRT-PCR and western blot analysis demonstrated macrolides also promoted human c-Fos expression in L02 cells. The c-Fos overexpression significantly reduced cell viability by using CCK-8 assay. These data indicate that hepatotoxicity induced by macrolides may be correlated with c-Fos expression activated by these compounds. This study may provide a biomarker for the further investigations on the mechanism of hepatotoxicity induced by macrolide drugs with different structures, and extend our understanding for improving rational clinical application of macrolides.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times