Impacts of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil on Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) Heart Cell Function

Rachael M Heuer, Gina L J Galli, Holly A Shiels, Lynne A Fieber, Georgina K Cox, Edward M Mager, John D Stieglitz, Daniel D Benetti, Martin Grosell, Dane A Crossley Ii

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Deepwater Horizon crude oil is comprised of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that cause a number of cardiotoxic effects in marine fishes across all levels of biological organization and at different life stages. Although cardiotoxic impacts have been widely reported, the mechanisms underlying these impairments in adult fish remain understudied. In this study, we examined the impacts of crude oil on cardiomyocyte contractility and electrophysiological parameters in freshly isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes from adult mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Cardiomyocytes directly exposed to oil exhibited reduced contractility over a range of environmentally relevant concentrations (2.8-12.9 μg l-1∑PAH). This reduction in contractility was most pronounced at higher stimulation frequencies, corresponding to the upper limits of previously measured in situ mahi heart rates. To better understand the mechanisms underlying impaired contractile function, electrophysiological studies were performed, which revealed oil exposure prolonged cardiomyocyte action potentials and disrupted potassium cycling (9.9-30.4 μg l-1∑PAH). This study is the first to measure cellular contractility in oil-exposed cardiomyocytes from a pelagic fish. Results from this study contribute to previously observed impairments to heart function and whole-animal exercise performance in mahi, underscoring the advantages of using an integrative approach in examining mechanisms of oil-induced cardiotoxicity in marine fish.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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