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Potential physiological effects of pharmaceutical compounds in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) implied by transcriptomic analysis

AuthorsHampel, Miriam ; Alonso, Esteban; Aparicio, Irene; Bron, James E.; Santos, Juan Luis; Taggart, John B.; Leaver, Michael J.
Atlantic salmon
cDNA microarray
KEGG pathway analysis
Sublethal effects
Issue Date6-Feb-2010
CitationEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research 17(4): 917-933 (2010)
AbstractBackground, aim, and scope: Pharmaceuticals are emerging pollutants widely used in everyday urban activities which can be detected in surface, ground, and drinking waters. Their presence is derived from consumption of medicines, disposal of expired medications, release of treated and untreated urban effluents, and from the pharmaceutical industry. Their growing use has become an alarming environmental problem which potentially will become dangerous in the future. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about long-term effects in non-target organisms as well as for human health. Toxicity testing has indicated a relatively low acute toxicity to fish species, but no information is available on possible sublethal effects. This study provides data on the physiological pathways involved in the exposure of Atlantic salmon as representative test species to three pharmaceutical compounds found in ground, surface, and drinking waters based on the evaluation of the xenobiotic-induced impairment resulting in the activation and silencing of specific genes.
Discussion: Energy-related pathways have been altered under exposure in all the selected treatments, indicating a possible energy budget leakage due to additional processes resulting from the exposure to environmental contaminants. Observed induction of pathways may indicate additional processes involved in the mode of action of the selected pharmaceuticals which may not have been detected with conventional methods like quantitative PCR in which only suspected features are analyzed punctually for effects. The employment of novel high-throughput screening techniques in combination with global pathway analysis methods, even if the organism is not completely annotated, allows the examination of a much broader range of candidates for potential effects of exposure at the gene level.
Conclusions: The continuously growing number of annotations of representative species relevant for environmental quality testing is facilitating pathway analysis processes for not completely annotated organisms. KEGG has shown to be a useful tool for the analysis of induced pathways from data generated by microarray techniques with the selected pharmaceutical contaminants acetaminophen, carbamazepine, and atenolol, but further studies have to be carried out in order to determine if a similar expression pattern in terms of fold change quantity and pathways is observed after long-term exposure. Together with the information obtained in this study, it will then be possible to evaluate the potential risk that the continuous release of these compounds may have on the environment and ecosystem functioning.
Description7 páginas, 3 figuras, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-009-0282-6
Appears in Collections:(ICMAN) Artículos
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