Malachite green toxicity assessed on Asian catfish primary cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells by a proteomic analysis.
ABSTRACT The potential genotoxic and carcinogenic properties reported for malachite green (MG) and the frequent detection of MG residues in fish and fish products, despite the ban of MG, have recently generated great concern. Additional toxicological data are required for a better understanding of the mechanism of action and a more comprehensive risk assessment for the exposure of fish to this fungicide. To date, the use of fish peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) has not been exploited as a tool in the assessment of the toxicity of chemicals. However, PBMCs are exposed to toxicants and can be easily collected by blood sampling. The present study aims at better understanding the effects of MG by a proteomic analysis of primary cultured PBMC from the Asian catfish, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, exposed to MG. The two lowest concentrations of 1 and 10 ppb were selected based on the MTS (water soluble tetrazolium salts) cytotoxicity test. Using a proteomic analysis (2D-DIGE), we showed that 109 proteins displayed significant changes in abundance in PBMC exposed during 48 h to MG. Most of these proteins were successfully identified by nano LC-MS/MS and validated through the Peptide and Protein Prophet of Scaffold™ software, but only 19 different proteins were considered corresponding to a single identification per spot. Our data suggest that low concentrations of MG could affect the mitochondrial metabolic functions, impair some signal transduction cascades and normal cell division, stimulate DNA repair and disorganize the cytoskeleton. Altogether, these results confirm that the mitochondrion is a target of MG toxicity. Further studies on the identified proteins are needed to better understand the mechanisms of MG toxicity in fish produced for human consumption.