Altered expression of metabolites and proteins in wild and caged fish exposed to wastewater effluents in situ
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Population growth has led to increased global discharges of wastewater. Contaminants that are not fully removed during wastewater treatment, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), may negatively affect aquatic ecosystems. PPCPs can bioaccumulate causing adverse health effects and behavioural changes in exposed fish. To assess the impact of PPCPs on wild fish, and to assess whether caged fish could be used as a surrogate for resident wild fish in future monitoring, we caged goldfish in a marsh affected by discharges of wastewater effluents (Cootes Paradise, Lake Ontario, Canada). We collected plasma from resident wild goldfish, and from goldfish that we caged in the marsh for three weeks. We analyzed the plasma proteome and metabolome of both wild and caged fish. We also compared proteomic and metabolic responses in caged and wild fish from the marsh to fish caged at a reference site (Jordan Harbour Conservation Area). We identified significant changes in expression of over 250 molecules that were related to liver necrosis, accumulation and synthesis of lipids, synthesis of cyclic AMP, and the quantity of intracellular calcium in fish from the wastewater affected marsh. Our results suggest that PPCPs could be affecting the health of wild fish populations.
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