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Mar Pollut Bull. 2005 Jul;50(7):705-23.

Significance of cytochrome P450 system responses and levels of bile fluorescent aromatic compounds in marine wildlife following oil spills.

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1
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, USA. dick@skio.peachnet.edu

Abstract

The relationships among cytochrome P450 induction in marine wildlife species, levels of fluorescent aromatic compounds (FAC) in their bile, the chemical composition of the inducing compounds, the significance of the exposure pathway, and any resulting injury, as a consequence of exposure to crude oil following a spill, are reviewed. Fish collected after oil spills often show increases in cytochrome P450 system activity, cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and bile fluorescent aromatic compounds (FAC), that are correlated with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the oil. There is also some evidence for increases in bile FAC and induction of cytochrome P450 in marine birds and mammals after oil spills. However, when observed, increases in these exposure indicators are transitory and generally decrease to background levels within one year after the exposure. Laboratory studies have shown induction of cytochrome P450 systems occurs after exposure of fish to crude oil in water, sediment or food. Most of the PAH found in crude oil (dominantly 2- and 3-ring PAH) are not strong inducers of cytochrome P450. Exposure to the 4-ring chrysenes or the photooxidized products of the PAH may account for the cytochrome P450 responses in fish collected from oil-spill sites. The contribution of non-spill background PAH, particularly combustion-derived (pyrogenic) PAH, to bile FAC and cytochrome P450 system responses can be confounding and needs to be considered when evaluating oil spill effects. The ubiquity of pyrogenic PAH makes it important to fully characterize all sources of PAH, including PAH from natural resources, e.g. retene, in oil spill studies. In addition, such parameters as species, sex, age, ambient temperature and season need to be taken into account. While increases in fish bile FAC and cytochrome P450 system responses, can together, be sensitive general indicators of PAH exposure after an oil spill, there is little unequivocal evidence to suggest a linkage to higher order biological effects, e.g. toxicity, lesions, reproductive failure.

PMID:
15946701
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.04.036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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