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Contribution of commonly analyzed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to potential toxicity in early life stages of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Abstract:

In a series of bio-effect-directed fractionation experiments, we investigated the potential toxicity of sediment extracts from a contaminated bay. A previous study investigated abnormalities and hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activities in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) larvae by exposing newly fertilized eggs to the total extract and to fractions separated by degree of aromaticity. A major part of the potential toxicity was isolated in a fraction containing polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). In this study, we prepared a synthetic PAC mixture with 17 commonly analyzed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in amounts equimolar to those found in the sediment PAC fraction. The 17 PAHs, which included 11 of the 16 United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) priority PAHs, were unable to account for the toxicopathic effects observed and could explain less than 4% of the total EROD induction. The lack of a clear relationship between toxicopathic effects and EROD induction underlines the need for a battery of biomarkers for estimating environmental risk. These results reveal the limits of our knowledge regarding compounds responsible for potential toxicity in field situations.

Dans une série d'expériences de fractionnement dirigé vers les bio-effets, nous avons étudié la toxicité potentielle d'extraits de sédiments provenant d'une baie contaminée. Une étude antérieure avait examiné les anormalités et les activités de l'éthoxyrésorufine O-dééthylase (activités EROD) hépatiques chez les larves de truites arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) en exposant des oeufs fraîchement fécondés à un extrait complet et à des fractions séparées d'après leur degré d'aromaticité. Une partie importante de la toxicité potentielle a pu être isolée dans une fraction contenant des composés aromatiques polycycliques (PAC). Nous avons préparé dans notre étude un mélange synthétique de PAC contenant 17 hydrocarbures aromatiques polycycliques (PAH), fréquemment trouvés dans les analyses, dans des quantités équimolaires à celles présentes dans la fraction PAC des sédiments. Les 17 PAH, qui incluent 11 des 16 PAH sur la liste de priorité de l'EPA, ne peuvent expliquer les effets toxicopathiques observés et n'arrivent à élucider que 4 % de l'induction totale d'activité EROD. L'absence de relation nette entre les effets toxicopathiques et l'induction d'EROD souligne la nécessité d'avoir une batterie de biomarqueurs pour estimer les risques environnementaux. Nos résultats montrent les limites de nos connaissances sur les composés responsables de la toxicité potentielle dans les conditions de terrain.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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