Functionality of aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhR1 and AhR2) of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) and implications for the risk assessment of dioxin-like compounds

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Jon A. Doering
  • Reza Farmahin
  • Steve Wiseman
  • Sean W. Kennedy
  • John P. Giesy
  • And 1 others
  • Markus Hecker

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8219-8226
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume48
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014

Abstract

Worldwide, populations of sturgeons are endangered, and it is hypothesized that anthropogenic chemicals, including dioxin-like compounds (DLCs), might be contributing to the observed declines in populations. DLCs elicit their toxic action through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which is believed to regulate most, if not all, adverse effects associated with exposure to these chemicals. Currently, risk assessment of DLCs in fishes uses toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) developed for the World Health Organization (WHO) that are based on studies of embryo-lethality with salmonids. However, there is a lack of knowledge of the sensitivity of sturgeons to DLCs, and it is uncertain whether TEFs developed by the WHO are protective of these fishes. Sturgeons are evolutionarily distinct from salmonids, and the AhRs of sturgeons differ from those of salmonids. Therefore, this study investigated the sensitivity of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) to DLCs in vitro via the use of luciferase reporter gene assays using COS-7 cells transfected with AhR1 or AhR2 of white sturgeon. Specifically, activation and relative potencies (RePs) of 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), 2,3,4,7,8-pentachloro-dibenzofuran, 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzofuran, 3,3′,4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl, 3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl, and 2,3,3′,4,4′- pentachlorobiphenyl were determined for each AhR. It was demonstrated that white sturgeon expresses AhR1s and AhR2s that are both activated by DLCs with EC 50 values for 2,3,7,8-TCDD that are lower than those of any other AhR of vertebrates tested to date. Both AhRs of white sturgeon had RePs for polychlorinated dibenzofurans more similar to TEFs for birds, while RePs for polychlorinated biphenyls were most similar to TEFs for fishes. Measured concentrations of select DLCs in tissues of white sturgeon from British Columbia, Canada, were used to calculate toxic equivalents (TEQs) by use of TEFs for fishes used by the WHO and TCDD equivalents (TCDD-EQs) via the use of RePs for AhR2 of white sturgeon as determined by transfected COS-7 cells. TCDD-EQs calculated for endangered populations of white sturgeon were approximately 10-fold greater than TEQs and were within ranges known to cause adverse effects in other fishes, including other species of sturgeons. Therefore, TEFs used by the WHO might not adequately protect white sturgeon, illuminating the need for additional investigation into the sensitivity of these fish to DLCs. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Citation Format(s)

Functionality of aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhR1 and AhR2) of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) and implications for the risk assessment of dioxin-like compounds. / Doering, Jon A.; Farmahin, Reza; Wiseman, Steve; Kennedy, Sean W.; Giesy, John P.; Hecker, Markus.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 48, No. 14, 15.07.2014, p. 8219-8226.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review