Eric Gwadz SCE

Eric Gwadz: The Effect of Nicotine on Visual Developmnent: A Research Study Through Zebrafish

The usage of electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS) has increased in popularity over recent years. The safety of these devices and the nicotine they deliver is unknown, especially considering their potential impact on pregnancy.  Studies in animals indicate that nicotine exposure of a fetus has been linked to potential birth defects, but there is not conclusive evidence on the potential harm of ENDS during pregnancy in humans.  In this study, larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) were chronically exposed to nicotine concentrations of 0, 5, 15, and 25uM during a 31-79 hpf window, which coincides with most of the visual development window. Optokinetic response, length, eye diameter and deformities were recorded on day 8. Though the effects of nicotine on the optokinetic response, length, eye diameter and survival rate of zebrafish were non-significant, substantial negative trends were observed, particularly in OKR responses. More in-depth studies on this subject might provide insights to the potential risks of using ENDS while pregnant.