Comparison of in vitro (fish cell line) and in vivo (fish and crustacean) acute toxicity tests in aquatic toxicology

Kolarova J, Velisek J, Svobodova Z (2021): Comparison of in vitro (fish cell line) and in vivo (fish and crustacean) acute toxicity tests in aquatic toxicology. Vet Med-Czech 66, 350–355.

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The use of in vitro (fish cell lines) is a cost-effective, very rapid, and informative tool for toxicological assessments. Using the neutral red (NR) assay, we compared the in vitro acute toxicity (20hEC50) of twenty-six chemical substances on a rainbow trout gonad cell line (RTG-2) with their in vivo acute toxicity to Barbados Millions Poecilia reticulata (48hLC50, OECD 203) and crustacean Daphnia magna (48hEC50, OECD 202). The 20hEC50 values obtained by the NR assay were higher in nearly all the cases when compared to the 48hLC50 in P. reticulata and the 48hEC50 in D. magna, indicating that the sensitivity of the RTG-2 cell line was lower compared to P. reticulata and D. magna. A high (r = 0.89) and significant (P < 0.001) correlation was recorded between the 20hEC50 values of the RTG-2 and the 48hEC50 values of D. magna. The correlation between the 20hEC50 values of the RTG-2 and the 48hLC50 values of P. reticulata was lower (r = 0.65; P < 0.001), but also significant. The authors recommend use of the NR assay on the RTG-2 cell lines as a screening protocol to evaluate the toxicity of xenobiotics in aquatic environments to narrow the spectrum of the concentrations for the fish toxicity test.

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