Understanding the responses to exposure to xenobiotic substances is a fundamental aspect of toxicology. The fast development of -omic technologies has opened the possibility of using these new approaches to investigate the molecular complexity of biological systems and the alterations produced by exposure to xenobiotics. The project will explore the use of these technologies –transcriptomics and lipidomics- in an attempt to characterize the complexity of the biological response and the alterations produced by a preselected number of pollutants and sediment samples collected all over the Mediterranean basin. The donor partner, the University of Bergen will contribute its know-how on reported gen assays (PXR) and their experience on precision cut liver slices technology. The University of Bergen group has been successfully using transcriptomics in their toxicology studies. This project may lead to new and more sensitive technologies for biological effect monitoring of environmental contaminants. The results will benefit to the community research.
Summary of project results
Understanding responses to the exposure of xenobiotic substances is a fundamental aspect of toxicology. The fast development of genomic and metabolomic technologies has opened the possibility of using these new approaches to investigate the molecular complexity of biological systems and the alterations produced by exposure to xenobiotics. These technological advances enable the identification and quantification of many of the components (i.e., genes, proteins, or metabolites) of a particular biological system in a single experiment. Transcriptomics enables the analysis of complex, multigene systems and their responses to environmental perturbations like pollutants, while the study of the metabolome and lipidoma can be considered as the ultimate expression of the genes in response to environmental changes. This mobility project explored the use of these technologies –transcriptomics and lipidomics together with traditional toxicological data in well established in-vitro models (PXR activation assay, cod liver slices and zebra fish cells) in an attempt to characterize the complexity of the biological response and the alterations produced by a preselected number of sediment samples collected all over the Mediterranean basin. The main aim of combining the expertise of both partners: University of Bergen: PXR activation, transcriptomics, technology to obtain PCLS, and IDAEA-CSIC: study of cytotoxicity of sediments, lipodomic characterization of cell extracts) and to work with a preselected number of samples of sediments collected in different areas of the Mediterranean, with the aim of developing sensitive methods for the detection of the effect of pollutants, was reached, and its results were published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and other publications are in preparation. During the project, different activities and experiments were carried. Main beneficiaries of the project are research team members, as they get understanding of existing methods that are useful of their ongoing and future investigations, as well as new and complementary ways of working in different laboratories of toxicology. The departments involved are also beneficiary of the project by sharing knowledge and scientific enrichment, and the establishment of new collaborations. Furthermore, the results obtained from the analysed samples will contribute to better characterize the environmental quality of the areas and contriute to a better management of coastal ecosystems.
Summary of bilateral results
Spanish partner had the opportunity to work with several scientists from Bergen University in the field of environmental toxicology, these relations are a potential source of future collaborations particularly in the field of lipidomics. The stay has provided the opportunity to Spanish PhD students to be in contact and exchange experiences with researchers from different countries (Norway, Italy and Germany). During the project, the participation of the Spanish group in the project iCod 2.0 “Integrative environmental genomics of Atlantic cod; a holistic approach to characterize the biological effects of emerging contaminants and mixed exposure regimes’ led by Dr. Odd Andre Karlsen from University of Bergen, the project having been approved and financed. The results obtained regarding zebrafish Pxr activation in transfected COS-7 cells exposed to sediment extracts will be compared with other previous toxicity studies in the same samples (cytotoxicity, CyP1Am CYP19 and oxidative stress), in order to confirm and complete the study of the characterization of environmental quality of coastal areas from the Adriatic and Black seas. In this way it is guaranteed the sustainability and verification of the results obtained during this project.