Effects of organochlorines on cytochrome P450 activity and antioxidant enzymes in liver of roundnose grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris

Benjamin Lemaire, Imants George Priede, Martin Collins, David Mark Bailey, Nicolas Schtickzelle, Jean-Pierre Thomé, Jean-François Rees

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Oceans function as a sink for organochlorine compounds (OCs) such as PCBs and DDTs. Deep-sea fish bioaccumulate OCs to levels 10 to 100 times higher than shallow-water species. OCs induce the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system, the activity of which may increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in liver cells. However,, the susceptibility of fish to the oxidative stress likely caused by OCs remains unclear. We analysed whether PCB and DDT contamination of roundnose grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris was associated with higher ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity (CYP1A-related), and activities of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutases (SOD) and glutathione peroxidases (GPX). Biological parameters affecting EROD patterns (e.g. gender, ontogeny) were also investigated. Citrate synthase (CS) was used as a proxy for oxidative metabolism, responsible for basal ROS production and recruitment of antioxidant enzymes in liver cells. Hepatic OC levels were determined in individuals of different sizes (89 to 2016 g) from northern Atlantic slopes (depth range = 1000 to 1900 m). Median PCB and DDT values were 2.39 and 1.48 mu g g(-1) lipid weight, respectively, while median EROD activity was 15 pmol min(-1) mg(-1) protein. Gender greatly influenced OC levels (females were less contaminated), whilst weight (linked to ontogeny) positively affected DDT levels. EROD increased with PCB levels, and to some extent SOD and CAT were more influenced by EROD than CS, indicating that PCBs strengly affect the redox balance of roundnose grenadier liver cells through increased CYP1A activity. Therefore, 0C-related CYP1A induction may be a major source of cellular ROS in liver of roundnose grenadier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • deep-sea fish
  • cytochrome P450
  • EROD
  • PCBs
  • DDTs
  • antioxidant enzymes
  • persistent organic pollutants
  • bay canyon California
  • final global sink
  • oxidative stress
  • risk-assessment
  • rockall trough
  • South Atlantic
  • dwelling fish
  • north


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