The common field lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol is a potential radiosensitizer in fish cells.
Purpose: To evaluate if the common field lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) that is intended to eradicate the invasive species sea lampreys in the Great Lakes has the potential to sensitize radiation responses in cells from non-targeted native fish. Materials and methods: The TFM toxicity was assessed acutely and chronically with the clonogenic fish cell line eelB. The acute toxicity (24-h exposure) was determined by the fluorescent cell viability probe Alamar Blue. The chronic toxicity was determined either by Alamar Blue (7-d exposure) or the clonogenic survival assay (14-d exposure). Pre- and post-exposure of fish cells to environmentally relevant TFM concentrations following gamma irradiation were performed. Clonogenic survival was determined to assess the damage level of radiation-induced reproductive cell death. Results: The chronic toxicity tests were more sensitive than the acute toxicity tests. The 14-d EC50 using the clonogenic survival endpoint was 2.09±0.28 µg/mL and was statistically similar to the 7-d EC50 (1.85±0.07 µg/mL) based on the Alamar Blue-based cytotoxicity endpoint. Post-exposure of cells to environmentally relevant TFM concentrations following irradiation did not have any effect as compared to the irradiation alone group. In contrast, pre-exposure of cells to TFM following irradiation had a negative additive effect when the total radiation dose was 2 Gy, but not 0.1 or 0.5 Gy. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the common field lampricide TFM is a potential radiation sensitizer in cells from non-targeted native fish. This could be a health problem of concern for non-targeted native fish if a large accidental radioactive release occurs.