Hepatic Responses of Juvenile Fundulus heteroclitus from Pollution-adapted and Nonadapted Populations Exposed to Elizabeth River Sediment Extract.
Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting the Atlantic Wood Industries region of the Elizabeth River, Virginia, have passed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) resistance to their offspring as evidenced by early life stage testing of developmental toxicity after exposure to specific PAHs. Our study focused on environmentally relevant PAH mixtures in the form of Elizabeth River sediment extract (ERSE). Juvenile (5 month) F1 progeny of pollution-adapted Atlantic Wood (AW) parents and of reference site (King's Creek [KC]) parents were exposed as embryos to ERSE. Liver alterations, including nonneoplastic lesions and microvesicular vacuolation, were observed in both populations. ERSE-exposed KC fish developed significantly more alterations than unexposed KC fish. Interestingly, unexposed AW killifish developed significantly more alterations than unexposed KC individuals, suggesting that AW juveniles are not fully protected from liver disease; rapid growth of juvenile fish may also be an accelerating factor for tumorigenesis. Because recent reports show hepatic tumor formation in adult AW fish, the differing responses from the 2 populations provided a way to determine whether embryo toxicity protection extends to juveniles. Future investigations will analyze older life stages of killifish to determine differences in responses related to chronic disease.
Riley, AK; Chernick, M; Brown, DR; Hinton, DE; Di Giulio, RT
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