A1 Journal article (refereed)
Retene, pyrene and phenanthrene cause distinct molecular-level changes in the cardiac tissue of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) larvae, part 1 – Transcriptomics (2020)

Rigaud, C., Eriksson, A., Krasnov, A., Wincent, E., Pakkanen, H., Lehtivuori, H., Ihalainen, J., & Vehniäinen, E.-R. (2020). Retene, pyrene and phenanthrene cause distinct molecular-level changes in the cardiac tissue of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) larvae, part 1 – Transcriptomics. Science of the Total Environment, 745, 141031. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141031

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRigaud, Cyril; Eriksson, Andreas; Krasnov, Aleksei; Wincent, Emma; Pakkanen, Hannu; Lehtivuori, Heli; Ihalainen, Janne; Vehniäinen, Eeva-Riikka

Journal or seriesScience of the Total Environment



Publication year2020


Pages range141031

PublisherElsevier BV

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71299


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are contaminants of concern that impact every sphere of the environment. Despite several decades of research, their mechanisms of toxicity are still poorly understood. This study explores the mechanisms of cardiotoxicity of the three widespread model PAHs retene, pyrene and phenanthrene in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) early life stages. Newly hatched larvae were exposed to each individual compound at sublethal doses causing no significant increase in the prevalence of deformities. Changes in the cardiac transcriptome were assessed after 1, 3, 7 and 14 days of exposure using custom Salmo salar microarrays. The highest number of differentially expressed genes was observed after 1 or 3 days of exposure, and retene was the most potent compound in that regard. Over-representation analyses suggested that genes related to cardiac ion channels, calcium homeostasis and muscle contraction (actin binding, troponin and myosin complexes) were especially targeted by retene. Pyrene was also able to alter similar myosin-related genes, but at a different timing and in an opposite direction, suggesting compound-specific mechanisms of toxicity. Pyrene and to a lesser extent phenanthrene were altering key genes linked to the respiratory electron transport chain and to oxygen and iron metabolism. Overall, phenanthrene was not very potent in inducing changes in the cardiac transcriptome despite being apparently metabolized at a slower rate than retene and pyrene. The present study shows that exposure to different PAHs during the first few days of the swim-up stage can alter the expression of key genes involved into the cardiac development and function, which could potentially affect negatively the fitness of the larvae in the long term.

Keywordswater systemsimpuritiesaromatic hydrocarbonstoxinstoxicitybiological effectsSalmoniformesrainbow troutecotoxicology

Free keywordsaquatic toxicology; cardiotoxicity; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); transcriptomics

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 12:20