Gonzalez, P., Baudrimont, M., Boudou, A., and Bourdineaud, J.P. (2006) Comparative Effects of Direct Cadmium Contamination on Gene Expression in Gills, Liver, Skeletal Muscles and Brain of the Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine. 19(3):225-235.
The effects of cadmium (Cd) on gene expression were examined in four organs (gills, liver, skeletal muscles and brain) of the zebrafish. Adult male fish were subjected to three different water contamination pressures over periods of 7 and 21 days: control medium (C(0): no Cd added) and two contaminated media (C(1): 1.9 +/- 0.6 mug Cd l(-1), and C(2): 9.6 +/- 2.9 mug Cd l(-1)). Fourteen genes involved in antioxidant defences, metal chelation, active efflux of organic compounds, mitochondrial metabolism, DNA repair and apoptosis were selected and their expression levels investigated by quantitative real-time PCR. Cadmium concentrations were determined in the four organs and metallothionein (MT) protein levels investigated in brain, liver and gills. Although skeletal muscle was a poor Cd-accumulating tissue, many genes were up-regulated at day 7: mt1, cyt, bax, gadd and rad51 genes. Three additional genes, c-jun, pyc and tap, were up-regulated in muscles at day 21 whereas bax, gadd and rad51 had returned to basal levels. Surprisingly, mt1 and c-jun were the only genes displaying a differential induction after 21 days in liver, although this organ accumulated the highest cadmium concentration. In brain, only mt1, mt2 and c-jun genes were up-regulated after 21 days. In gills, the highest response was observed after 7 days, featuring the differential expression of oxidative stress-response hsp70 and mitochondrial sod genes, along with genes involved in mitochondrial metabolism and metal detoxification. Then, after 21 days, the expression of almost every genes returned to basal levels while both mt1 and mt2 genes were up-regulated.