|The effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the immune system of fish: a review|In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Aromatic hydrocarbons; Fish; Toxicity; Marine; Fresh water
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are an important class of environmental pollutants that are known to be carcinogenic and immunotoxic. This review summarizes the diverse literature on the effects of these pollutants on innate and acquired immunity in fish and the mechanism of PAH-induced immunotoxicity. Among innate immune parameters, many authors have focused on macrophage activities in fish exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Macrophage respiratory burst appears especially sensitive to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Among acquired immune parameters, lymphocyte proliferation appears highly sensitive to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure. However, the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on both specific and non-specific immunity are contradictory and depend on the mode of exposure, the dose used or the species studied. In contrast to mammals, fewer studies have been done in fish to determine the mechanism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced toxicity. This phenomenon seems to implicate different intracellular mechanisms such as metabolism by cytochrome P4501A, binding to the Ah-receptor, or increased intracellular calcium. Advances in basic knowledge of fish immunity should lead to improvements in monitoring fish health and predicting the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on fish populations, which is a fundamental ecotoxicological goal.