Contaminant accumulation and biological responses in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) caged at a capped waste disposal site in Kollevag, Western Norway.


The aim of this study was to assess whether fish in Kollevag, a sheltered bay on the western coast of Norway, previously utilized as a waste disposal site, could be affected by environmental contaminants leaking from the waste. Farmed, juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were caged for six weeks at three different locations in Kollevag bay and at one reference location. Sediments and cod samples (bile and liver) were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolites, revealing a contamination gradient at the four stations. Furthermore, hepatosomatic index (HSI) and Fulton's condition factor (CF) were significantly lower in cod caged closest to the disposal site. Levels and activities of biomarker proteins, such as vitellogenin (Vtg), metallothionein (Mt), and biotransformation and oxidative stress enzymes, including cytochrome P450 1a and 3a (Cyp1a, Cyp3a), glutathione s-transferase (Gst) and catalase (Cat), were quantified in blood plasma and liver tissue. Hepatic Cat and Gst activities were significantly reduced in cod caged at the innermost stations in Kollevag, indicating modulation of oxidative stress responses. However, these results contrasted with reduced hepatic lipid peroxidation. Significant increases in transcript levels were observed for genes involved in lipid metabolism (fasn and acly) in cod liver, while transcript levels of ovarian steroidogenic enzyme genes such as p450scc, cyp19, 3beta-hsd and 20beta-hsd showed significant station-dependent increases. Cyp1a and Vtg protein levels were however not significantly altered in cod caged in Kollevag. Plasma levels of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) were determined by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and showed elevated E2 levels, but only at the innermost station. We conclude that the bay of Kollevag did not fullfill adequate environmental condition based on environmental quality standards (EQSs) for chemicals in coastal waters. Following a six weeks caging period, environmental contaminants accumulated in cod tissues and effects were observed on biomarker responses, especially those involved in reproductive processes in cod ovary.


PubMed ID: 30803754

Projects: Systems toxicology of Atlantic cod

Publication type: Not specified

Journal: Mar Environ Res

Citation: Mar Environ Res. 2019 Mar;145:39-51. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.02.003. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Date Published: 26th Feb 2019

Registered Mode: Not specified

Authors: K. Dale, M. B. Muller, Z. Tairova, E. A. Khan, K. Hatlen, M. Grung, F. Yadetie, R. Lille-Langoy, N. Blaser, H. J. Skaug, J. L. Lyche, A. Arukwe, K. Hylland, O. A. Karlsen, A. Goksoyr

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Created: 7th Aug 2019 at 13:09

Last updated: 8th Dec 2022 at 17:26

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