Alterations of tissue glutathione levels and metallothionein mRNA in rainbow trout during single and combined exposure to cadmium and zinc.
Anke Lange, Olivier Ausseil*, Helmut Segner
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C 131 (2002) 231-243
* étudiant en contrat de thèse à l'IRSN : 1999-2001
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of Cd and Zn exposure of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) on (a) hepatic glutathione (GSH) levels; and (b) hepatic and branchial metallothionein (MT) mRNA expression.
Juvenile rainbow trout were exposed to waterborne Cd (nominal concentrations: 1.5 or 10 µg Cd l-1), Zn (150 or 1000 µg Zn l-1) or Cd/Zn mixtures (1.5 µg Cd l-1 with 200 µg Zn l-1 or 10 µg Cd l-1 with 1000 µg Zn l-1). After 14 and 28 days of treatment, hepatic concentrations of total glutathione, oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and cysteine were determined by means of fluorometric high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Branchial and hepatie expression of MT mRNA was measured by means of semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Exposure of trout to Zn did not result in significantly elevated tissue levels of Zn, whereas Cd accumulation factors changed significantly with time and concentration. Despite of the absence of Zn accumulation, hepatic GSH but not MT mRNA levels were significantly altered in Zn-exposed fish. Cd, on the contrary, affected mainly the MT response but not GSH. Also tissue specific differences in the regulation of the two thiol pools were expressed. The thiol response after exposure to, metal mixtures could not be explained by simple addition of the effects of the individual metals. The results indicate that cellular thiol pools show different reaction patterns with respect to specific metals and metal mixtures. Under conditions of long-term, low dose metal exposure, the function of GSH appears to go beyond that of a transitory, first fine defense.