Data from: A new role for carbonic anhydrase 2 in the response of fish to copper and osmotic stress: implications for multi-stressors studies
de Polo, Anna; Margiotta-Casaluci, Luigi; Lockyer, Anne E.; Scrimshaw, Mark D. (2015), Data from: A new role for carbonic anhydrase 2 in the response of fish to copper and osmotic stress: implications for multi-stressors studies, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s1p14
The majority of ecotoxicological studies are performed under stable and optimal conditions, whereas in reality the complexity of the natural environment faces organisms with multiple stressors of different type and origin, which can activate pathways of response often difficult to interpret. In particular, aquatic organisms living in estuarine zones already impacted by metal contamination can be exposed to more severe salinity variations under a forecasted scenario of global change. In this context, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of copper exposure on the response of fish to osmotic stress by mimicking in laboratory conditions the salinity changes occurring in natural estuaries. We hypothesized that copper-exposed individuals are more sensitive to osmotic stresses, as copper affects their osmoregulatory system by acting on a number of osmotic effector proteins, among which the isoform two of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA2) was identified as a novel factor linking the physiological responses to both copper and osmotic stress. To test this hypothesis, two in vivo studies were performed using the euryhaline fish sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) as test species and applying different rates of salinity transition as a controlled way of dosing osmotic stress. Measured endpoints included plasma ions concentrations and gene expression of CA2 and the α1a-subunit of the enzyme Na+/K+ ATPase. Results showed that plasma ions concentrations changed after the salinity transition, but notably the magnitude of change was greater in the copper-exposed groups, suggesting a sensitizing effect of copper on the responses to osmotic stress. Gene expression results demonstrated that CA2 is affected by copper at the transcriptional level and that this enzyme might play a role in the observed combined effects of copper and osmotic stress on ion homeostasis.