Real-Time PCR analysis of p53 mRNA levels in tissues of whitefish [Coregonus lavaretus] exposed to benzo[a]pyrene
We developed a real-time PCR assay for measuring relative quantities (RQ) of p53 tumor suppressor mRNA in the whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus, Salmonidae, Teleostei). Real-time PCR primers for the p53 gene were designed from a region that was found to be conserved among salmonid p53 genes. To test for the usefulness of the assay we performed a treatment study, using benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) a putative p53-inducer. Two groups of hatchery raised whitefish, with an average body mass of 15 g and total length of 12 cm were either given an intraperitoneal injection (10 mg • kg-1) of B[a]P in corn oil (2 mg B[a]P ml-1 corn oil) or corn oil alone (Control). After treatment (48 h, 7°C), two random fish from each group were anesthetized and the liver, head kidney and brain were collected for mRNA isolation and analysis. In the control fish, relative quantification analysis based on the p53 mRNA levels in liver (RQ=1.00) showed higher basal levels of p53 mRNA in the head kidney (RQ=1.69), and lower in the brain (RQ=0.41). In all three tissues sampled, p53 mRNA was affected by treatment with B[a]P. Liver tissue showed the greatest induction (RQ=1.53) from base levels (RQ=1.00), followed by brain (RQ=1.36), and head kidney (RQ=1.23). These results confirm that p53 mRNA is generally present at lower levels in differentiated tissues (liver and brain) than in those tissues with cell lines (head kidney), and demonstrate that p53 is moderately inducible by B[a]P in the whitefish. The approach presented here has the advantage of providing rapid and accurate measures of p53 induction in various tissues of fish responding to PAH contaminant exposure.
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