The biomarker of xenobiotic exposure cytochrome p450A1 (Cyp1A) was used to analyze the biological response to chemical pollution in Salmo trutta (brown trout) from nine high mountain European lakes in Norway, Tatras, Tyrol, and central Pyrenees. Hepatic Cyp1A mRNA levels correlated both with the reciprocal of absolute annual average air temperatures of the sampled lakes and with muscle concentrations of several hydrophobic organohalogen compounds (OC), including chlorinated polychlorobiphenyls (PCB), DDE, and DDT. The correlation between Cyp1A expression and OC content was observed across the whole temperature range (between -0.7 degrees C and +6.2 degrees C), but also in the absence of any thermal gradient. We concluded that airborne pollutants accumulate in high mountain lake fish at concentrations high enough to increase Cyp1A expression, among other possible effects. As geographical distribution of semi-volatile OC is strongly influenced by air temperatures, future climate modifications will potentially enhance their physiological effects in lake ecosystems.
Department of Biological Sciences & Center for Bioengineering Innovation, Northern Arizona University, 617 S. Beaver St., PO Box 5640, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com.
People living a subsistence lifestyle in the Arctic are highly exposed to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Formerly Used Defense (FUD) sites are point sources of PCB pollution; the Arctic contains thousands of FUD sites, many co-located with indigenous villages. We investigated PCB profiles and biological effects in freshwater fish (Alaska blackfish [Dallia pectoralis] and ninespine stickleback [Pungitius pungitius]) living upstream and downstream of the Northeast Cape FUD site on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Despite extensive site remediation, fish remained contaminated with PCBs. Vitellogenin concentrations in males indicated exposure to estrogenic contaminants, and some fish were hypothyroid. Downstream fish showed altered DNA methylation in gonads and altered gene expression related to DNA replication, response to DNA damage, and cell signaling. This study demonstrates that, even after site remediation, contaminants from Cold War FUD sites in remote regions of the Arctic remain a potential health threat to local residents - in this case, Yupik people who had no influence over site selection and use by the United States military.
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The visual system is for many fishes essential in guiding behaviors, such as foraging, predator avoidance and mate choice. The marine environment is characterized by large spatio-temporal fluctuations in light intensity and spectral composition. However, visual capabilities are restricted by both space limitations set by eye size and by the genomic content of light-absorbing opsin genes. The rich array of visual opsins in teleosts may be used differentially to tune vision towards specific needs during ontogeny and to changing light. Yet, to what extent visual plasticity is a pre-programmed developmental event, or is triggered by photic environment, is unclear. Our previous studies on Atlantic cod revealed an evolutionary genomic loss of UV-sensitive sws1 and red-sensitive lws opsin families, while blue-sensitive sws2 and green-sensitive rh2 opsins had duplicated. The current study has taken an opsin expression approach to characterize visual plasticity in cod towards different spectral light during the larval stage, to maturation and extreme seasonal changes in the Barents Sea. Our data suggest that opsin plasticity in cod larvae is controlled by developmental programme rather than immediate light environment. The lack of expressional changes during maturation suggests a less important role for visual modulation related to mate choice. Although no seasonal effects on visual opsins were detected in migratory Northeast Arctic cod, the expressed opsin subset differed from the more stationary Norwegian coastal cod described in previous studies. Interestingly, these data provide the first indications of a population difference in actively used visual opsins associated with cod ecotypes.
The mechanism of essentiality of dietary phospholipid (PL) for larval fish is not clear. The main objective of the present study was to determine if the PL requirement of Atlantic cod larvae was due to any genetic impairment caused by functional immaturity. Cod larvae were sampled at 1, 3, 8, 13, 17, 18, 30, 42 and 60 days post hatch (dph) for transcriptome analysis using a recently developed microarray. The fatty acid profile and gene expression levels of cod larvae at 17 dph were compared after feeding differently enriched rotifers, which contained different DHA levels in PL. No significant differences (p
The human safety aspects of seafood production require the expansion of vital knowledge of both nutrients and possible contaminants along the entire production chain. Thus, production of safer seafood can be achieved by using feed materials that are low in contaminants, while maintaining balanced nutrition, in order to secure optimal fish and consumer health. Our understanding of primary responses of fish health and production related diseases, as well as biological processes that influence carry-over and lowering of contaminants in farmed fish, will contribute to a sustainable production of safer seafood products. Therefore, we have studied the liver deposition and toxicological effects in salmon fed graded levels of BHT during a 12-week feeding followed by a 2-week depuration period using chemical, molecular, and catalytic assays. In general, our data showed that BHT was significantly retained in the liver and selectively modulated toxicological responses in the xenobiotic biotransformation pathways during the feeding period. Specifically, BHT produced consistent dose- and time-specific gene expression patterns for AhR2alpha, AhR2beta, CYP1A1, CYP3A, UGT1, and GSTpi. The effect of BHT on the gene expression of biotransformation enzyme did not parallel enzyme activity levels, suggesting a possible inhibition by parent BHT or its metabolites. As a safety precaution, the production of farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway requires a mandatory 2-week depuration period prior to slaughtering and market delivery to ensure the elimination of veterinary medicaments, additives, and other undesirable components. Comparison of feeding and depuration periods showed that BHT was highly retained in fish liver, as only 8-13% of fed BHT was eliminated during the 2-week depuration period. This is just a part of the total concentration in the whole fish, since BHT may have been distributed and accumulated in other organs. Since BHT or its metabolites putatively inhibited biotransformation enzymes and affected metabolism of the compound, they may have potential for toxicological and adverse health effects for both fish and fish consumers through carry-over processes from the fish products.
During the last few decades, plant protein ingredients such as soya proteins have replaced fishmeal in the diets of aquacultured species. This may affect the requirement and metabolism of methionine as soya contains less methionine compared with fishmeal. To assess whether methionine limitation affects decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine availability and polyamine status, in the present study, juvenile Atlantic salmon were fed a methionine-deficient plant protein-based diet or the same diet supplemented with dl-methionine for 8 weeks. The test diets were compared with a fishmeal-based control diet to assess their effects on the growth performance of fish. Methionine limitation reduced growth and protein accretion, but when fish were fed the dl-methionine-supplemented diet their growth and protein accretion equalled those of fish fed the fishmeal-based control diet. Methionine limitation reduced free methionine concentrations in the plasma and muscle, while those in the liver were not affected. S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) concentrations were higher in the liver of fish fed the methionine-deficient diet, while S-adenosylhomocysteine concentrations were not affected. Putrescine concentrations were higher and spermine concentrations were lower in the liver of fish fed the methionine-deficient diet, while the gene expression of SAM decarboxylase (SAMdc) and the rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine synthesis ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) was not affected. Polyamine turnover, as assessed by spermine/spermidine acetyltransferase (SSAT) abundance, activity and gene expression, was not affected by treatment. However, the gene expression of the cytokine TNF-a increased in fish fed the methionine-deficient diet, indicative of stressful conditions in the liver. Even though taurine concentrations in the liver were not affected by treatment, methionine and taurine concentrations in muscle decreased due to methionine deficiency. Concomitantly, liver phospholipid and cholesterol concentrations were reduced, while NEFA concentrations were elevated. In conclusion, methionine deficiency did not increase polyamine turnover through depletion of hepatic SAM, as assessed by SSAT activity and abundance.
Novel physiological challenges in different environments can promote the evolution of divergent phenotypes, either through plastic or genetic changes. Environmental salinity serves as a key barrier to the distribution of nearly all aquatic organisms, and species diversification is likely to be enabled by adaptation to alternative osmotic environments. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a euryhaline species with populations found both in marine and freshwater environments. It has evolved both highly plastic and locally adapted phenotypes due to salinity-derived selection, but the physiological and genetic basis of adaptation to salinity is not fully understood. We integrated comparative cellular morphology of the kidney, a key organ for osmoregulation, and candidate gene expression to explore the underpinnings of evolved variation in osmotic plasticity within two populations of sticklebacks from distinct salinity zones in the Baltic Sea: the high salinity Kattegat, representative of the ancestral marine habitat; and the low salinity Bay of Bothnia. A common-garden experiment revealed that kidney morphology in the ancestral high-salinity population had a highly plastic response to salinity conditions whereas this plastic response was reduced in the low-salinity population. Candidate gene expression in kidney tissue revealed a similar pattern of population-specific differences, with a higher degree of plasticity in the native high-salinity population. Together these results suggest that renal cellular morphology has become canalized to low salinity, and that these structural differences may have functional implications for osmoregulation.
The aim was to find out the effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) in salmon (Salmo salar) cardiac contractile and endocrine function and its possible interaction with beta-adrenergic regulation. We found that ET-1 has a positive inotropic effect in salmon heart. ET-1 (30 nM) increased the contraction amplitude 17+/-4.7% compared with the basal level. beta-Adrenergic activation (isoprenaline, 100 nM) increased contraction amplitude 30+/-13.1%, but it did not affect the contractile response to ET-1. ET-1 (10 nM) stimulated the secretion of salmon cardiac natriuretic peptide (sCP) from isolated salmon ventricle (3.3+/-0.14-fold compared with control) but did not have any effect on ventricular sCP mRNA. Isoprenaline alone (0.1-1,000 nM) did not stimulate sCP release, but ET-1 (10 nM) together with isoprenaline (0.1 nM) caused a significantly greater increase of sCP release than ET-1 alone (5.4+/-0.07 vs. 3.3+/-0.14 times increase compared with control). The effects on the contractile and secretory function could be inhibited by a selective ETA-receptor antagonist BQ-610 (1 microM), whereas ETB-receptor blockage (by 100 nM BQ-788) enhanced the secretory response. Thus ET-1 is a phylogenetically conserved regulator of cardiac function, which has synergistic action with beta-adrenergic stimulation. The modulatory effects of ET-1 may therefore be especially important in situations with high beta-adrenergic tone.
Anadromous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) undergo voluntary winter fasting for months in the Arctic. We tested the hypothesis that extended fasting will compromise the ability of this species to evoke an immune response. Charr were either fed or fasted for 85 days and challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the molecular immune response in the liver and spleen assessed at 8 and 96 h post-injection. LPS increased IL-1ß, IL-8, and serum amyloid protein A (SAA) mRNA levels in both groups, but the liver IL-1ß and IL-8, and spleen IL-8 responses were reduced in the fasted group. Fasting upregulated SOCS-1 and SOCS-2 mRNA abundance, while LPS stimulated SOCS-3 mRNA abundance and this response was higher in the fasted liver. Collectively, extended fasting and emaciation does not curtail the capacity of charr to evoke an immune response, whereas upregulation of SOCS may be a key adaptation to conserve energy by restricting the inflammatory response.