Kiyun Park, Won-Seok Kim and Ihn-Sil Kwak*
Faculty of Marine Technology, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, South Korea
*Corresponding Author: Ihn-Sil Kwak
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), xenobiotics that interfere with endogenous hormone function, have been studied for their impacts in aquatic environments. However, there is limited information about the potentially hazardous impact of bisphenol A (BPA) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) on the marine environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA and DEHP on the immune response of the intertidal mud crab, Macrophthalmus japonicus. In order to examine immunological responses involving the prophenoloxidase (proPO) system, mRNA transcript and activity levels of six immune-related genes, including lipopolysaccharide and β-1,3-glucan-binding protein (LGBP), proPO, phenoloxidase (PO), peroxinectin (PE), serine protease inhibitor (Serpin), and trypsin (Tryp), were assessed in M. japonicus hepatopancreas and gills exposed to BPA or DEHP. Expression of immune genes generally decreased in M. japonicus hepatopancreas and gills exposed to all concentrations of BPA by days 4 and 7. However, at day 1, expression of Serpin and Tryp genes was significantly increased in M. japonicus hepatopancreas and gills exposed to BPA. For DEHP exposure, all genes, with the exception of Serpin, were significantly downregulated in M. japonicus gills. In the hepatopancreas, gene expression of PO, proPO, and LGBP increased at day 1, and then decreased by day 7, while mRNA expression of Serpin and Tryp exhibited up-regulation over all exposure periods. In addition, PE gene expression was upregulated in hepatopancreas at day 7 in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these results indicated that the crab immune responses were perturbed by exposure to BPA, and, in particular, DEHP.
Keywords : Prophenoloxidase (proPO), Serine protease inhibitor (serpin), Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), Gene expression, Crab