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Metabolite Profiling of Fish Skin Mucus: A Novel Approach for Minimally-Invasive Environmental Exposure Monitoring and Surveillance

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-03-03, 00:00 authored by D. R. Ekman, D. M. Skelton, J. M. Davis, D. L. Villeneuve, J. E. Cavallin, A. Schroeder, K. M. Jensen, G. T. Ankley, T. W. Collette
The application of ‘omics tools to biologically based monitoring and surveillance of aquatic environments shows considerable promise for complementing chemical monitoring in ecological risk assessments. However, few of the current approaches offer the ability to sample ecologically relevant species (e.g., fish) in a way that produces minimal impact on the health of the organism(s) under study. In the current study we employ liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to assess the potential for skin mucus-based metabolomics for minimally invasive sampling of the fathead minnow (FHM; Pimephales promelas). Using this approach we were able to detect 204 distinct metabolites in the FHM skin mucus metabolome representing a large number of metabolite classes. An analysis of the sex specificity of the skin mucus metabolome showed it to be highly sexually dimorphic with 72 of the detected metabolites showing a statistically significant bias with regard to sex. Finally, in a proof-of-concept fashion we report on the use of skin mucus-based metabolomics to assess exposures in male and female fathead minnows to an environmentally relevant concentration of bisphenol A, a nearly ubiquitous environmental contaminant and an established endocrine active chemical.