We previously observed that exposure to a complex mixture of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) increased sensitivity of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to subsequent challenge with Aeromonas salmonicida, the causative agent of furunculosis. In this study, we evaluate potential mechanisms associated with disease susceptibility from combined environmental factors of dietary PAH exposure and pathogen challenge. Rainbow trout were fed a mixture of ten high molecular weight PAHs at an environmentally relevant concentration (7.82μg PAH mixture/g fish/day) or control diet for 50 days. After 50 days of PAH exposure, fish were challenged with either Aeromonas salmonicida at a lethal concentration 30 (LC30) or growth media without the pathogen (mock challenge). Head kidneys were collected 2, 4, 10 and 20 days after challenge and gene expression (q<0.05) was evaluated among treatments. In animals fed the PAH contaminated diet, we observed down-regulation of expression for innate immune system genes in pathways (p<0.05) for the terminal steps of the complement cascade (complement component C6) and other bacteriolytic processes (lysozyme type II) potentially underlying increased disease susceptibility after pathogen challenge. Increased expression of genes associated with hemorrhage/tissue remodeling/inflammation pathways (p<0.05) was likely related to more severe head kidney damage due to infection in PAH-fed compared to control-fed fish. This study is the first to evaluate transcriptional signatures associated with the impact of chronic exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of PAHs in disease susceptibility and immunity.
Keywords: Disease susceptibility; Innate immunity; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mixture; Transcriptomics. Rainbow trout.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.