Detection of vitellogenin and zona radiata protein expressions in surface mucus of immature juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) exposed to waterborne nonylphenol
Induction of blood plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata proteins (Zr-proteins) in male and juvenile of oviparous vertebrates was proposed and shown to be sensitive biomarkers for exposure to estrogen mimic. The time- and dose-dependent expression of Vtg and Zr-proteins in nonylphenol (NP) exposed juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is reported. Fish were exposed continuously to waterborne nonylphenol at 5, 15 and 50 microg/L. Blood and surface mucus samples were collected after 3 and 7 days post-exposure. Nonylphenol-induced plasma and surface mucus levels of Vtg and Zr-protein were analysed using immunochemical methods (Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ELISA). Both Vtg and Zr-protein levels in plasma and surface mucus showed similar and parallel nonylphenol-induced expression patterns after waterborne nonylphenol exposure and in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Zr-proteins were significantly induced at the lowest concentration of nonylphenol after 3 and 7 days of exposure both in plasma and in surface mucus. We conclude that the detection of Vtg and Zr-proteins directly in the surface mucus of fish, and the correlation of these values with plasma protein biomarker values in xenoestrogen-treated fish represents a sensitive non-invasive system for the detection of these known endocrine disruptor biomarkers. The demonstration of detectable Vtg and Zr-protein levels from surface mucus is a potential biomarker for estrogenic compounds, and their presence should be considered as an improvement in the methods for detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and related pollutants in the environment.