Developmental abnormalities in chicken embryos exposed to N -Nitrosoatrazine

Nikita Joshi, Martha G. Rhoades, Gregory D. Bennett, Sandra M. Wells, Sidney S. Mirvish, Michael J. Breitbach, Patrick J. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Nitrate and atrazine (ATR) occur in combination in some drinking-water supplies and might react to form N-nitrosoatrazine (NNAT), which is reportedly more toxic than nitrate, nitrite, or ATR. Current evidence from population-based studies indicates that exposure to nitrate, nitrite, and nitrosatable compounds increases the risk of congenital defects and/or rate of embryo lethality. To test the hypothesis that NNAT induces malformations during embryogenesis, chicken embryos were examined for lethality and developmental abnormalities after treating fertilized eggs with 0.06-3.63 μg NNAT. After 5 d of incubation (Hamburger and Hamilton stage 27), 90% of embryos in NNAT-treated eggs were alive, of which 23% were malformed. Malformations included heart and neural-tube defects, caudal regression, gastroschisis, microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and craniofacial hypoplasia. The findings from this investigation suggest further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms underlying NNAT-induced embryotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1022
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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