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Physiology and mRNA expression in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after long-term exposure to the new antifoulant medetomidine.

Journal article
Authors Anna Lennquist
Noomi Asker
Erik Kristiansson
Adam Brenthel
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Peter Kling
Maria Hultman
D. G. Joakim Larsson
Lars Förlin
Published in Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP
Volume 154
Issue 3
Pages 234-41
ISSN 1532-0456
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Department of Zoology
Department of Zoology, Zoophysiology
Pages 234-41
Language en
Subject categories Animal physiology, Medical and Health Sciences


Medetomidine is under evaluation for use as an antifouling agent, and its effects on non-target aquatic organisms are therefore of interest. In this study, rainbow trout was exposed to low (0.5 and 5.0nM) concentrations of medetomidine for up to 54days. Recently we have reported on effects on paleness and melanophore aggregation of medetomidine in these fish. Here, specific growth rates were investigated together with a broad set of physiological parameters including plasma levels of growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and leptin, glucose and haemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Ht), condition factor, liver and heart somatic indexes (LSI, HSI). Hepatic enzyme activities of CYP1A (EROD activity), glutathione S-transferases (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR) were also measured. Additionally, hepatic mRNA expression was analysed through microarray and quantitative PCR in fish sampled after 31days of exposure. Medetomidine at both concentrations significantly lowered blood glucose levels and the higher concentration significantly reduced the LSI. The mRNA expression analysis revealed few differentially expressed genes in the liver and the false discovery rate was high. Taken together, the results suggest that medetomidine at investigated concentrations could interfere with carbohydrate metabolism of exposed fish but without any clear consequences for growth.

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