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Environ Health Perspect. 1987 Apr;71:105-19.

Biotransformation and induction: implications for toxicity, bioaccumulation and monitoring of environmental xenobiotics in fish.


Biotransformation of xenobiotics in fish occurs by many of the same reactions as in mammals. These reactions have been shown to affect the bioaccumulation, persistence, residue dynamics, and toxicity of select chemicals in fish. P-450-dependent monooxygenase activity of fish can be induced by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, but phenobarbital-type agents induce poorly, if at all. Fish monooxygenase activity exhibits ideal temperature compensation and sex-related variation. Induction of monooxygenase activity by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can result in qualitative as well as quantitative changes in the metabolic profile of a chemical. Induction can also alter toxicity. In addition, multiple P-450 isozymes have been described for several fish species. The biotransformation products of certain chemicals have been related to specific P-450 isozymes, and the formation of these products can be influenced by induction. Exposure of fish to low levels of certain environmental contaminants has resulted in induction of specific monooxygenase activities and monitoring of such activities has been suggested as a means of identifying areas of pollutant exposure in the wild.

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