The pyrethroid insecticide bifenthrin is frequently detected at ng/L concentrations in tributaries of the San Francisco Bay Delta. The estuary is also experiencing increasing salinity through climate change and water redirection. To evaluate the impacts of hypersaline conditions on bifenthrin toxicity in anadromous salmonids of the San Francisco Bay Delta (CA, USA), a 14-d laboratory exposure was performed using 2 strains of Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout and steelhead) acclimated to freshwater and to 8g/L and 17g/L salinity. The fish were then exposed to nominal concentrations of 0μg/L, 0.1μg/L, and 1.5μg/L bifenthrin. Rainbow trout exhibited significant mortality following exposure to 1.5μg/L (1.07±0.35μg/L measured) bifenthrin in freshwater. Elevated levels of Na+/K+ adenosine triphosphatase α1A mRNA subunit expression was observed in the gill of rainbow trout acclimated to hypersaline conditions relative to freshwater animals. No significant difference was noted in Na+/K+ adenosine triphosphatase subunit levels in brains of either strain in freshwater or hypersaline conditions. Likewise, significant differences were not observed in plasma vitellogenin or steroid hormone concentrations in either strain whether maintained in freshwater or saltwater. Saltwater acclimation significantly reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-catalyzed biotransformation of bifenthrin in liver microsomes of rainbow trout but not of steelhead. The present study showed that, relative to steelhead, rainbow trout have different responses to bifenthrin acute toxicity as well as different rates of hepatic bifenthrin biotransformation and regulation of Na+/K+ adenosine triphosphatase subunits in gills. These data indicate that significant differences exist between the strains and that animal life history may have important effects on the susceptibility of each strain to environmental contaminants.
- Oncorhynchus mykiss