The effects of microplastics (MPs) on organisms have drawn a worldwide attention in the recent years. In this study, zebrafish embryos were employed to assess the combined effects of MPs and cadmium (Cd) on the aquatic organisms. Lethal and sublethal effects were recorded at 8, 24, 32, 48 and 96 hpe (hour post exposure, hpe). The exposure under a series concentration of MPs and/or an environmental level Cd has the negative impact on survival and heart rate (HR). And there was a positive correlation between MPs concentration and lethal and sublethal toxicity under combined exposure. The physiological parameters showed that the mixture of two stressors had the antagonistic toxicity under low concentration of MPs (0.05,0.1 mg/L) while the synergistic sublethal toxicity under high levels of MPs (1, 5, 10 mg/L) on zebrafish embryos. Both the scanning electron micrographs (SEM) and fluorescence microscope photos suggested an electrostatic interaction and weak physical forces generated between MPs and chorion membrane. It is inferred that the 10 pro MPs could induce the protective effect of chorion membrane and cause complex toxidties with Cd. But when it involved with other pollutants, the toxic effects and mechanism are still waiting to be figured out. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.