Detection of vitellogenin and zona radiata protein expressions in surface mucus of immature juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) exposed to waterborne nonylphenol.

Research paper by Valentina V Meucci, Augustine A Arukwe

Indexed on: 06 May '05Published on: 06 May '05Published in: Aquatic Toxicology


Induction of blood plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata proteins (Zr-proteins) in male and juvenile of oviparous vertebrates was proposed and shown to be sensitive biomarkers for exposure to estrogen mimic. The time- and dose-dependent expression of Vtg and Zr-proteins in nonylphenol (NP) exposed juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is reported. Fish were exposed continuously to waterborne nonylphenol at 5, 15 and 50 microg/L. Blood and surface mucus samples were collected after 3 and 7 days post-exposure. Nonylphenol-induced plasma and surface mucus levels of Vtg and Zr-protein were analysed using immunochemical methods (Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ELISA). Both Vtg and Zr-protein levels in plasma and surface mucus showed similar and parallel nonylphenol-induced expression patterns after waterborne nonylphenol exposure and in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Zr-proteins were significantly induced at the lowest concentration of nonylphenol after 3 and 7 days of exposure both in plasma and in surface mucus. We conclude that the detection of Vtg and Zr-proteins directly in the surface mucus of fish, and the correlation of these values with plasma protein biomarker values in xenoestrogen-treated fish represents a sensitive non-invasive system for the detection of these known endocrine disruptor biomarkers. The demonstration of detectable Vtg and Zr-protein levels from surface mucus is a potential biomarker for estrogenic compounds, and their presence should be considered as an improvement in the methods for detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and related pollutants in the environment.