Transcriptomic responses of European flounder (Platichthys flesus) liver to a brominated flame retardant mixture

Timothy Williams, Amer M Diab, Matt Gubbins, Catherine Collins, Iveta Matejusova, Rose Kerr, James K Chipman, Raoul Kuiper, A Dick Vethaak, Stephen G George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Male European flounder (Platichthys flesus) were exposed to a technical mixture of brominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs, DE-71, Pentamix) that had been purified to remove contaminating dioxins. Controls were exposed to carrier solvent alone. Fish were exposed to decadally increasing concentrations of Pentamix via both sediment and spiked food. The GENIPOL P. flesus cDNA microarray, differentially expressed gene profiling (DEG) and quantitative PCR were employed to detect hepatic transcriptional differences between exposed fish and controls. Gene transcriptional changes were more sensitive to Pentamix exposure than biomarkers measured previously. Pentamix exposure induced transcripts coding for enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism (CYP1A, aldo-keto reductases) and elicited endocrine disruption (vitellogenin and thyroid hormone receptor alpha), with effects on CYP1A and VTG occurring at the highest exposure. Ontology analysis clearly showed dose-responsive changes indicative of oxidative stress, induction of mitochondrial dysfunction, and apoptosis. We conclude that exposure to PBDEs in both sediment and food has a significant adverse effect on a broad range of crucial biochemical processes in the livers of this widely distributed estuarine fish species, the flounder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Early online date29 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Animals
  • Flame Retardants
  • Flounder
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical


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