Microarray Analysis of Polychlorinated Biphenyl Mixture-Induced Changes in Gene Expression Among Atlantic Tomcod Populations Displaying Differential Sensitivity to Halogenated Aromatic Hydrocarbons

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


Several populations of fishes inhabiting contaminated Atlantic Coast estuaries exhibit resistance to early life-stage (ELS) toxicities induced by halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons such as coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These toxicities include mortality, circulatory failure, edema, and craniofacial malformations. The mechanisms behind resistance to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity in these populations are unknown. First and second generation Atlantic tomcod Microgadus tomcod embryos derived from the Hudson River ([HR]; New York, USA) population are highly resistant to PCB-induced cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) expression and ELS toxicity when compared to embryos of Miramichi River ([MR]; New Brunswick, Canada) and Shinnecock Bay ([SB]; New York, USA) origin. The present study sought to identify novel genes involved in population differences in response to PCB exposure using custom microarrays. Microarray probes consisted of unsequenced inserts of randomly picked clones from a tomcod cardiac cDNA library. Tomcod embryos from three populations (HR, MR, and SB) were exposed to two doses of an environmentally relevant mixture of coplanar PCBs and screened for dose- and population-specific patterns of gene expression. Clones displaying significant differences between populations exposed to the high dose of PCBs were identified by DNA sequencing. Of the 28 identified nonribosomal protein clones, none displayed expression patterns highly similar to CYP1A (altered in MR and SB, but not in HR). However, several transcripts representing biomarkers of cardiomyopathy in mammals (cardiac troponin T2, cathepsin L, and atrial natriuretic peptide) were differentially altered among the three tomcod populations by PCBs. Although the present study did not identify any novel genes associated with PCB resistance in tomcod, several potential molecular biomarkers of PCB exposure were revealed.

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Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry





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