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Characterization and profiling of hepatic cytochromes P450 and phase II xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence River Estuary and the Canadian Arctic
McKinney, M.A.; Arukwe, A.; De Guise, S.; Martineau, D.; Béland, P.; Dellaire, A.; Lair, S.; Lebeuf, M. (2004). Characterization and profiling of hepatic cytochromes P450 and phase II xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence River Estuary and the Canadian Arctic. Aquat. Toxicol. 69(1): 35-49. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2004.04.010
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Cytochromes; Enzymes; Epoxide hydrolase; Hydrolases; Marine mammals; Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776) [WoRMS]; ANW, Canada, Quebec, St. Lawrence Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • McKinney, M.A.
  • Arukwe, A.
  • De Guise, S.
  • Martineau, D.
  • Béland, P.
  • Dellaire, A.
  • Lair, S.
  • Lebeuf, M.
  • Letcher, R.J., illustrator

Abstract
    Cytochromes P450 (CYP, phase I) and conjugating (phase II) enzymes can be induced by and influence the toxicokinetics (metabolism) and toxicity of xenobiotic contaminants in exposed organisms. Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) from the endangered St. Lawrence (SL) River Estuary population exhibit deleterious health effects and various severe pathologies that have been associated with contaminant exposure. In contrast, such effects (e.g. reproductive and immunological impairment) are generally less frequent in less exposed populations in the Canadian Arctic (CA). In the present study, opportunistic sampling resulted in the collection immediately after death of liver tissue from a single female neonate SL beluga (SL6) and male and female CA beluga (n =1 0) from the Arviat region of western Hudson Bay, in addition to sampling of stranded carcasses of male and female SL beluga (n = 5) at least 12 h postmortem. We immunologically characterized cross-reactive proteins of hepatic microsomal CYP1A, CYP2B, CYP3A, CYP2E, epoxide hydrolase (EH) and uridine diphosphoglucuronosyl transferase (UDPGT) isozymes. Cross-reactive proteins were found in all SL and CA beluga using anti-rat CYP1A1, anti-rainbow trout CYP3A, anti-human CYP2E1, anti-rabbit EH and anti-human UDPGT1A1 polyclonal antibodies (Abs), whereas faintly cross-reactive CYP2B proteins were only found in SL6 and the CA samples using an anti-rabbit CYP2B1 Ab. In corresponding catalytic activity assessments, only SL6 and all CA beluga microsomal samples exhibited CYP1A-mediated 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity (51-260 pmol/mg/min), CYP3A-mediated activity (113-899 pmol/mg/min) based on the formation of 6ß-hydroxytestosterone using a testosterone hydroxylase assay, and UDPGT activity (830-4956 pmol/mg/min) based on 1-naphthylglucuronide formation. The marginal cross-reactivity with the anti-CYP2B1 Ab and lack of catalytically measurable hydroxytestosterone isomers associated with CYP2B-type activity in all the SL and CA animals is suggestive of low CYP2B-type enzyme expression in beluga. The absence of measurable total P450 enzyme levels and catalytic activities in samples from the stranded SL belugas suggested catalytically inactive enzymes as a consequence of tissue degradation related due to the time delay of sample collection after death. However, all SL and CA animals demonstrated similar, immunologically cross-reactive phase I and II hepatic enzyme profiles, which is suggestive of the importance of metabolism in the toxicokinetics and fate of xenobiotics in animals from both populations.

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