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A noninvasive test of exposition to toxicants: quantitative analysis of cytochrome P4501A expression in fish scales

AuthorsQuirós, Laia CSIC; Raldúa, Demetrio CSIC ORCID ; Navarro Cuenca, Anna; Casado, Marta CSIC ORCID ; Barceló, Damià CSIC ORCID; Piña, Benjamín CSIC ORCID
KeywordsQuantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction
Fish ecotoxicology
Genetic biomarkers
Environmental biomonitoring
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
Issue DateOct-2007
PublisherSETAC (Society)
CitationEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry 26(10): 2179-2186 (2007)
AbstractElevated expression of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) is an established biomarker for exposition to a wide range of toxicants, particularly for dioxin and structurally similar compounds. Expression of CYP1A usually is analyzed in internal organs, which involves dissection of the specimen. To avoid unnecessary animal killing, we present here an alternative method based on the monitoring of CYP1A expression in fish scales. Using β-naphthoflavone (BNF; 50 mg/kg body wt, intraperitoneal injection) as inducer in goldfish (Carassius auratus), we monitored levels of CYP1A mRNA both in scales and liver of treated and control specimens. Treatment with BNF resulted in a similar induction of CYP1A gene in both tissues, although scales responded faster (at 8 h after treatment) than liver (between 24 and 48 h). The scale-based test has the unique advantage of allowing sequential testing in the same specimen, which facilitates analysis of the time course of CYP1A induction and allows the study of individual variability. The method implies minimal suffering of the animals, because it only requires removal of a moderate (n = 1–3) number of scales for each time point. This nondestructive, fast, and relatively inexpensive test for toxic exposure therefore is suitable for environmental monitoring and food safety control programs in which specimen preservation is required.
Description8 pages, 3 tables, 3 figures.-- PMID: 17867895 [PubMed].
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