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High‐resolution mass spectrometry of skin mucus for monitoring physiological impacts and contaminant biotransformation products in fathead minnows exposed to wastewater effluent
Mosley, J., D. Ekman, J. Cavallin, Dan Villeneuve, G. Ankley, AND Tim Collette. High‐resolution mass spectrometry of skin mucus for monitoring physiological impacts and contaminant biotransformation products in fathead minnows exposed to wastewater effluent. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 37(3):788-796, (2018).
High resolution mass spectrometry was used to analyze fish skin mucus collected from male and female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to a wastewater treatment plant effluent. Both sex-specific and non sex-specific responses were observed in the skin mucus metabolome. Statistical modeling suggested that changes in the mucus metabolome relate in part to xenobiotic transformation pathways. Investigation into this finding resulted in the novel detection of a phase II transformation product for bisphenol A in the skin mucus of male fish. This work offers the use of skin mucus as a non-lethal matrix for assessing both exposures and effects to real-world mixtures of contaminants.
High‐resolution mass spectrometry is advantageous for monitoring physiological impacts and contaminant biotransformation products in fish exposed to complex wastewater effluent. We evaluated this technique using skin mucus from male and female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to control water or treated wastewater effluent at 5, 20, and 100% levels for 21 d, using an on‐site, flow‐through system providing real‐time exposure. Both sex‐specific and non‐sex–specific responses were observed in the mucus metabolome, the latter suggesting the induction of general compensatory pathways for xenobiotic exposures. Altogether, 85 statistically significant treatment‐dependent metabolite changes were observed out of the 310 total endogenous metabolites that were detected (156 of the 310 were annotated). Partial least squares‐regression models revealed strong covariances between the mucus metabolomes and up‐regulated hepatic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcripts reported previously for these same fish. These regression models suggest that mucus metabolomic changes reflected, in part, processes by which the fish biotransformed xenobiotics in the effluent. In keeping with this observation, we detected a phase II transformation product of bisphenol A in the skin mucus of male fish. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the utility of mucus as a minimally invasive matrix for simultaneously assessing exposures and effects of environmentally relevant mixtures of contaminants.