Opercular epithelial cells: A simple approach for in vitro studies of cellular responses in fish
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SourceToxicology, 230, 1, (2007), pp. 53-63
Article / Letter to editor
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Organismal Animal Physiology
Animal Ecology & Physiology
SubjectAnimal Ecology and Physiology
This study evaluated the efficacy of fish opercular external (skin) and inner (opercular membrane) epithelium as an in vitro model for toxic and other substances studies. The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) operculum was cultured in 12-well dishes containing sterile Leibovitz 15 (L-15) supplemented with glutamine medium during 24 h at 9 ◦C, and the effect of copper, a toxic agent, and/or cortisol, an endogenous agent, on the epithelial cells was analyzed using light microscopy techniques. The opercula were submitted to four treatments: (i) control (Cont), L-15 medium only, (ii) 0.28 _Mcortisol (Cort), (iii) 100 _MCuSO4 (Cu), and (iv) 0.28 _M cortisol + 100 _M CuSO4 (Cort–Cu). The tissue condition after 24 h incubation was analyzed by staining the mucous cells for neutral and acid mucosubstances. Cellular necrosis was evaluated by measuring the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage at 12 and 24 h incubation. Cellular proliferation, apoptosis, metallothionein (MT) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. TheLDHleakagewas higher and the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) positive-stained cells were lower in Cu treatment in both, epidermis and opercular membrane. Apoptotic cells in the opercular membrane were higher in the Cort and Cort–Cu treatments while, in the epidermis, they were higher in Cu and Cort–Cu treatments. GR-positive stained cells decreased significantly in all treatments in both epithelia and the MT-positive cells increased in the Cu and Cort–Cu treated groups. Copper showed to be a potent toxic stressor killing the cells via necrosis, decreasing the number of PCNA-positive cells and inducing MT synthesis while cortisol did not affect the MT synthesis, although it might stimulate apoptosis. The results are evidence that the opercular epithelia serve as a suitable model for studying in vitro effects of toxic agents, as well as endogenous factors on the cellular responses without interference of the physiological state of fish being useful to predict in vivo toxicity.
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