Hepatic gene expression in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to different hydrocarbon mixtures



Traditional biomarkers for hydrocarbon exposure are not induced by all petroleum substances. The objective of this study was to determine if exposure to a crude oil and different refined oils would generate a common hydrocarbon-specific response in gene expression profiles that could be used as generic biomarkers of hydrocarbon exposure. Juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were exposed to the water accommodated fraction (WAF) of either kerosene, gas oil, heavy fuel oil, or crude oil for 96 h. Tissue was collected for RNA extraction and microarray analysis. Exposure to each WAF resulted in a different list of differentially regulated genes, with few genes in common across treatments. Exposure to crude oil WAF changed the expression of genes including cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) with known roles in detoxification pathways. These gene expression profiles were compared to others from previous experiments that used a diverse suite of toxicants. Clustering algorithms successfully identified gene expression profiles resulting from hydrocarbon exposure. These preliminary analyses highlight the difficulties of using single genes as diagnostic of petroleum hydrocarbon exposures. Further work is needed to determine if multivariate transcriptomic-based biomarkers may be a more effective tool than single gene studies for exposure monitoring of different oils. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2034–2043. © 2010 SETAC