Sentinel fish hornyhead turbot (Pleuronichthys verticalis) captured near wastewater outfalls are used for monitoring exposure to industrial and agricultural chemicals of ~ 20 million people living in coastal Southern California. Although analyses of hormones in blood and organ morphology and histology are useful for assessing contaminant exposure, there is a need for quantitative and sensitive molecular measurements, since contaminants of emerging concern are known to produce subtle effects. We developed a second generation multi-species microarray with expanded content and sensitivity to investigate endocrine disruption in turbot captured near wastewater outfalls in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles California. Analysis of expression of genes involved in hormone [e.g., estrogen, androgen, thyroid] responses and xenobiotic metabolism in turbot livers was correlated with a series of phenotypic end points. Molecular analyses of turbot livers uncovered altered expression of vitellogenin and zona pellucida protein, indicating exposure to one or more estrogenic chemicals, as well as, alterations in cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A, CYP3A and glutathione S-transferase-α indicating induction of the detoxification response. Molecular responses indicative of exposure to endocrine disruptors were observed in field-caught hornyhead turbot captured in Southern California demonstrating the utility of molecular methods for monitoring environmental chemicals in wastewater outfalls. Moreover, this approach can be adapted to monitor other sites for contaminants of emerging concern in other fish species for which there are few available gene sequences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)