Transcriptome responses in polar cod (Boreogadus saida) liver slice culture exposed to benzo[a]pyrene and ethynylestradiol: insights into anti-estrogenic effects
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionToxicology in Vitro. 2021, 75, 105193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2021.105193
Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) is a key species in the arctic marine ecosystem vulnerable to effects of pollution, particularly from petroleum related activities. To facilitate studying the effects of those pollutants, we adapted a precision-cut liver slice culture protocol for this species. Using this system on board a research vessel, we studied gene expression in liver slice after exposure to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), ethynylestradiol (EE2), and their mixtures, to map their molecular targets and examine possible anti-estrogenic effects of BaP. The exposure experiments were performed with BaP alone (0.1, 1, and 10 μM) or in combination with low concentrations of EE2 (5 nM) to mimic physiological estradiol levels in early vitellogenic female fish. Transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq) was performed after 72 h exposure in culture to map the genes and cellular pathways affected. The results provide a view of global transcriptome responses to BaP and EE2, which resulted in enrichment of many pathways such as the aryl hydrocarbon (Ahr) and estrogen receptor pathways. In the mixture exposure, BaP resulted in anti-estrogenic effects, shown by attenuation of EE2 activated transcription of many estrogen target genes. The results from this ex vivo experiment suggest that pollutants that activate the Ahr pathway such as the PAH compound BaP can result in anti-estrogenic effects that may lead to endocrine disruption in polar cod.