We have developed an original in vitro bioassay using teleost scale, that has osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and bone matrix as each marker: alkaline phosphatase (ALP) for osteoblasts and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) for osteoclasts. Using this scale in vitro bioassay, we examined the effects of seawater polluted with highly concentrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) on osteoblastic and osteoclastic activities in the present study. Polluted seawater was collected from two sites (the Alexandria site on the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal site on the Red Sea). Total levels of PAHs in the seawater from the Alexandria and Suez Canal sites were 1364.59 and 992.56 ng/l, respectively. We were able to detect NPAHs in both seawater samples. Total levels of NPAHs were detected in the seawater of the Alexandria site (12.749 ng/l) and the Suez Canal site (3.914 ng/l). Each sample of polluted seawater was added to culture medium at dilution rates of 50, 100, and 500, and incubated with the goldfish scales for 6 hrs. Thereafter, ALP and TRAP activities were measured. ALP activity was significantly suppressed by both polluted seawater samples diluted at least 500 times, but TRAP activity did not change. In addition, mRNA expressions of osteoblastic markers (ALP, osteocalcin, and the receptor activator of the NF-κB ligand) decreased significantly, as did the ALP enzyme activity. In fact, ALP activity decreased on treatment with PAHs and NPAHs. We conclude that seawater polluted with highly concentrated PAHs and NPAHs influences bone metabolism in teleosts.
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