Cytochrome P4501A expression, chemical contaminants and histopathology in roach, goby and sturgeon and chemical contaminants in sediments from the Caspian Sea, Lake Balkhash and the Ily River Delta, Kazakhstan.
Roach, goby and sturgeon were examined for cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) expression and histopathology, in relation to contaminant burdens in fish and sediment. Gradients of induction of CYP1A were observed. Roach from the Ural and Ily River Deltas and roach and goby from the two stations nearest the Caspian Sea oil fields displayed higher levels of CYP1A expression in several organs than was observed in fish from further offshore. Great sturgeon and Russian sturgeon showed higher levels of CYP1A expression than was seen in starred sturgeon and gobies in the Ural delta. No fish showed evidence of contaminant-related histopathologies in the organs examined, despite the elevated CYP1A levels. Low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls and elevated levels of inshore and riverine petroleum hydrocarbons from these habitats suggest that this ongoing hydrocarbon exposure, and that from natural sources and long-term oil exploration on the Northeastern Caspian shore, contributed to the CYP1A induction observed.