Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)

Transcriptional and physiological response of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to urban waters entering into wildlife protected areas.

PMID 25656232


The mission of protected areas is to conserve biodiversity and improve human welfare. To assess the effect of urban waters entering into protected areas, we performed 48-h whole-effluent exposures with fathead minnows, analyzing changes in steady state levels of mRNAs in the livers of exposed fish. Raw wastewater, treated city wastewater, and treated wastewater from a university were collected for exposures. All exposed fish showed altered mRNA levels of DNA damage-repair genes. Fish exposed to raw and treated wastewaters showed down-regulation of transcripts for key intermediates of cholesterol biosynthesis and elevated plasma cholesterol. The type of wastewater treatment influenced the response of gene transcription. Because of the relevance of some of the altered cellular pathways, we suggest that these effluents may cause deleterious effects on fish inside protected areas that receive these waters. Inclusion of research and mitigation efforts for this type of threat in protected areas management is advised.