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Species-specific metabolism of naphthalene and phenanthrene in 3 species of marine teleosts exposed to Deepwater Horizon crude oil

The 2 most abundant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) measured in Deepwater Horizon crude oil, naphthalene and phenanthrene, and their associated homologs have both been shown to be acutely toxic in fish. Although fish have a relatively high metabolic capacity for PAHs, hydroxylated PAH (OH-PAH) derivatives formed during the initial metabolic response can negatively impact the health of fish. Species-specific metabolism of naphthalene and phenanthrene was evaluated in 3 marine teleosts, red drum (Scianops ocellatus), Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus), and southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma). Fish were exposed to Deepwater Horizon crude oil by intraperitoneal injections at time 0 and 48 h, with bile sampling events at 24 and 72 h post injection. The data suggested metabolic induction in Florida pompano and red drum, whereas southern flounder may have demonstrated metabolic fatigue. By 24 h post injection, overall profiles of red drum and southern flounder were dominated by hydroxylated phenanthrene metabolites; conversely, the Florida pompano profiles were dominated by monohydroxylated naphthalenes. In addition, Florida pompano had faster overall relative biotransformation rates, suggesting their potential decreased susceptibility to adverse effects. Red drum and southern flounder had much lower relative biotransformation rates, indicating their probable susceptibility to adverse outcomes after naphthalene and phenanthrene exposures. The present study is the first to investigate monohydroxylated PAHs in fish exposed to Deepwater Horizon oil.