Fish and Shellfish Immunology Reports (Dec 2023)

Effects of elevated temperature on 8-OHdG expression in the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica): Induction of oxidative stress biomarkers, cellular apoptosis, DNA damage and γH2AX signaling pathways

  • Md Faizur Rahman,
  • Mohammad Maruf Billah,
  • Richard J. Kline,
  • Md Saydur Rahman

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4
p. 100079


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Global temperature is increasing due to anthropogenic activities and the effects of elevated temperature on DNA lesions are not well documented in marine organisms. The American oyster (Crassostrea virginica, an edible and commercially important marine mollusk) is an ideal shellfish species to study oxidative DNA lesions during heat stress. In this study, we examined the effects of elevated temperatures (24, 28, and 32 °C for one-week exposure) on heat shock protein-70 (HSP70, a biomarker of heat stress), 8‑hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, a biomarker of pro-mutagenic DNA lesion), double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), γ-histone family member X (γH2AX, a molecular biomarker of DNA damage), caspase-3 (CAS-3, a key enzyme of apoptotic pathway) and Bcl-2-associated X (BAX, an apoptosis regulator) protein and/or mRNA expressions in the gills of American oysters. Immunohistochemical and qRT-PCR results showed that HSP70, 8-OHdG, dsDNA, and γH2AX expressions in gills were significantly increased at high temperatures (28 and 32 °C) compared with control (24°C). In situ TUNEL analysis showed that the apoptotic cells in gill tissues were increased in heat-exposed oysters. Interestingly, the enhanced apoptotic cells were associated with increased CAS-3 and BAX mRNA and/or protein expressions, along with 8-OHdG levels in gills after heat exposure. Moreover, the extrapallial (EP) fluid (i.e., extracellular body fluid) protein concentrations were lower; however, the EP glucose levels were higher in heat-exposed oysters. Taken together, these results suggest that heat shock-driven oxidative stress alters extracellular body fluid conditions and induces cellular apoptosis and DNA damage, which may lead to increased 8-OHdG levels in cells/tissues in oysters.