Gene expression in American lobster (Homarus americanus) with epizootic shell disease
Tarrant, Ann M.
Franks, Diana G.
Verslycke, Tim A.
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KeywordArginine kinase; 100 lobsters; Cytochrome P450; Ecdysteroid; Endocrine; Hepatopancreas; Heat shock protein; Epizootic shell disease; American lobster; Shade
Epizootic shell disease (ESD) has been reported widely in American lobster (Homarus americanus, Milne Edwards) in southern New England. The appearance of irregular, deep lesions—characteristic of ESD—has been associated previously with elevated levels of ecdysteroids and premature molting, but the underlying molecular and physiological changes associated with ESD remain poorly understood. Previously, we identified several genes, including arginine kinase and hemocyanin, that were expressed differentially in lobsters exhibiting signs of ESD (diseased) versus those lobsters exhibiting no signs of ESD (assumed healthy), and quantified their expression. In this study, we extend these findings and measure expression of a suite of 12 genes in tissues from 36 female lobsters of varying disease condition. In addition, molt stage is evaluated as a possible confounding factor in the expression of the selected genes. The expression of several genes changed significantly with disease stage. Arginine kinase expression decreased significantly in thoracic muscle of lobsters with signs of ESD. Ecdysteroid receptor expression was elevated significantly in both muscle and hepatopancreas of lobsters with signs of ESD. CYP45, a cytochrome P450 form that was shown previously to covary with ecdysteroid levels and to be inducible by some xenobiotics, showed significantly increased expression in hepatopancreas of lobsters with signs of ESD. Together, these results demonstrate that the expression of several genes is altered in lobsters showing signs of ESD, even when accounting for variation in molt stage. Given the observed changes in ecdysteroid receptor, arginine kinase, and CYP45 expression, further investigations of the association, if any, between molting, muscular function and xenobiotic metabolism and ESD are warranted.
Author Posting. © National Shellfisheries Association, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of National Shellfisheries Association for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Shellfish Research 31 (2012): 505-513, doi:10.2983/035.031.0210.
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