Lipid accumulation, oxidative stress and immune-related molecules affected by tributyltin exposure in muscle tissues of rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus)

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Tributyltin (TBT) is reported to induce adipogenesis in fish, which might affect nutritional qualities and health status. Muscle tissues account for the majority of body mass, and have been described as a major site of fat deposition and an immunologically active organ. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate whether chronic exposures of TBT, at environmental concentrations of 1, 10 and 100 ng/L, affects lipid accumulation, oxidative stress and immune status in muscle tissues of rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus). After 60 d of exposure, TBT increased contents of total lipid, total cholesterol, triglyceride and fatty acids in muscle tissues. Interestingly, TBT exposure disrupted fatty acid composition and increased contents of unsaturated fatty acids (such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in muscle tissues, which might be a response to preserve membrane functions from TBT exposure. Meanwhile, the concentrations of hepatic fatty acid desaturase 2 (Δ6-desaturase) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase (Δ9-desaturase) were increased after TBT exposure, which might contribute the increase of unsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, TBT increased muscle lipid peroxidation products, antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase), and the expression of immune-related molecules (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 beta and nuclear factor kappa B) in muscle tissues. The disruption of TBT on the lipid accumulation, oxidative stress and immune-toxic effects in muscle tissues of fish might reduce nutritional qualities, and affect growth and health status, which might pose a constant and serious threat to fish and result in economic loss in aquaculture.

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