Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Assessment of Exposure to Cytochrome P4501a1-Inducing Pollutants in Pelagic Fishes from the Western North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Through Analysis of Liver EROD Activity

Event Name/Location

Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society Spring Meeting, Biloxi, Mississippi, January 26-29, 2012

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We examined liver samples taken from pelagic fishes captured in the western North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico for evidence of exposure to cytochrome P4501a1 (Cyp1a1)-inducing pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). A key purpose of this research was to determine if pelagic fish populations in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are exhibiting physiological effects associated with exposure to PAHs from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Exposure to Cyp1a1-inducing contaminants was determined through measurements of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in fish livers. Samples obtained from the Atlantic Ocean provided a comparison for those taken from the oil exposed portions of the Gulf of Mexico. Our preliminary results show low levels of EROD activity in teleosts and elasmobranchscaptured from both sampling areas. These data suggest low impact of PAHs in pelagic fishes potentially exposed to oil spill waters.





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