Perfluorinated compounds disrupted osmoregulation in Oryzias melastigma during acclimation to hypoosmotic environment

By Wenjia Lu, Li Long, Peiqiang Zhao, Xu Zhang, Changzhou Yan, Sijun Dong, and Qiansheng Huang
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
August 18, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112613

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are a type of ubiquitous contaminants spreading in the estuarine and coastal areas. Anadromous fish should deal with hypoosmotic challenge with PFCs stress during their migration from seawater to estuaries. However, few studies have been carried out to investigate the adverse impact of PFCs on fish osmoregulation and the underlying mechanism. In this study, Oryzias melastigma, an euryhaline fish model, were exposed to four representative PFC congeners including perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoA) separately under both seawater and freshwater conditions. Histopathological changes in gills, ion homeostasis, Na/K-ATPase (NKA) activity, as well as the expression of related genes was detected upon exposure. Results showed that PFCs induced morphological changes in gills, disturbed the levels of major ions (Na, Ca, Mg), and inhibited the NKA activity. Transcriptome analysis in fish gills during the acclimation to freshwater revealed that PFCs influenced the osmoregulation mainly by interfering with the endocrine system, signal transduction, as well as cellular community and motility. Validation with qRT-PCR confirmed that the mRNA expressions of osmoregulatory genes encoding hormones and receptors, as well as ion transmembrane transporters were disturbed by PFCs. Longer chain homolog (PFOS) showed a greater impact on osmoregulation than the shorter chain homolog (PFBS). Within the same carbon chain, sulfonic congener (PFOS) induced more serious injury to gills than carboxylic congener (PFOA). The interaction between PFCs and salinity varied in different adverse outcome. These results help to further understand the mechanism of how PFCs influence osmoregulation and elicit the need to assess the ecological risk of PFCs and other pollutants on anadromous migration.

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