The parr–smolt transformation in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a complex developmental process that culminates in the ability to migrate to and live in seawater. Exposure to environmental contaminants like nonylphenol can disrupt smolt development and may be a contributing factor in salmon population declines. We used GRASP 16K cDNA microarrays to investigate the effects of nonylphenol on gene expression in Atlantic salmon smolts. Nonylphenol exposure reduced gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity and plasma cortisol and triiodothyronine levels. Transcriptional responses were examined in gill, liver, olfactory rosettes, hypothalamus, and pituitary. Expression of 124 features was significantly altered in the liver of fish exposed to nonylphenol; little to no transcriptional effects were observed in other tissues. mRNA abundance of genes involved in protein biosynthesis, folding, modification, transport and catabolism; nucleosome assembly, cell cycle, cell differentiation, microtubule-based movement, electron transport, and response to stress increased in nonylphenol-treated fish. This study expands our understanding of the effect of nonylphenol on smolting and provides potential targets for development of biomarkers.
Additional publication details
The effect of nonylphenol on gene expression in Atlantic salmon smolts