John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Oxidative stress responses of Gulf Killifish exposed to hydrocarbons from the deepwater horizon oil spill: Considering potential implications on aquatic food resources

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Ecosystem effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) remain under investigation following the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Fundulus grandis, an established indicator of aquatic ecosystem health, was investigated since this species shares genes and biochemical pathways with higher trophic level fish and plays an important role in the Gulf food chain. Oxidative stress responses including hepatic cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and serum antioxidant capacity were evaluated in fish exposed to PAH. Fish were exposed to water accommodated fractions (WAF) of crude oil (7.0 ± 0.10 mg/L C6‐C28) after which solutions were diluted below the level of detection over 8 h using 15 ppt aerated artificial sea water. Before euthanasia, fish remained in aquaria for 12, 24, or 48 h. Three replicate experiments were conducted at each time point using unexposed fish as experimental controls. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in CYP1A induction were observed in exposed versus control fish at 24 h. CYP1A expression increased 25%, 66%, and 23% in exposed fish at 12, 24, and 48 h, respectively. Significant increases were observed in antioxidant capacity of non‐enzymatic antioxidants in exposed versus control fish at each time point. Given the activity of CYP1A, radicals formed during PAH detoxification likely resulted in increased oxidant load requiring elevated antioxidant defenses. Research is needed to determine the duration of oxidative stress responses considering the potential for lipid oxidation in exposed fish or species feeding on exposed fish. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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