Meeting Abstract

52.3  Saturday, Jan. 5  Effects of PAHs on Respiration and Gene Expression in Primary Hepatocytes isolated from Natural Populations of Fundulus heteroclitus DU, X.*; CRAWFORD, D.L.; OLEKSIAK , M.F.; Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL; Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL; Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL

We are investigating the effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on metabolic function and gene expression using primary hepatocytes from two populations of the salt marsh teleost Fundulus heteroclitus: one population inhabiting a Superfund site highly contaminated with PAHs and a nearby reference population. Individuals from the population inhabiting the Superfund site are resistant to the PAHs in their environment, but the mechanism of this resistance is not yet well understood. Because PAHs are known to affect metabolism, mitochondrial respiration will be measured in primary hepatocytes using high resolution respirometry. The activities of specific complexes in the electron transport chain will be quantified by exposing hepatocytes to the corresponding substrates and blockers and then correlated with changes in gene expression. Differences between the polluted and reference populations will provide insights into PAH resistance and help us to better understand the evolution and adaptation of natural populations in response to anthropogenic pollution.