The present study aimed at evaluating the toxicity of short-term cadmium (Cd) exposure in the European bullhead Cottus gobio, a candidate sentinel species. Several enzymatic activity assays (citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase, and lactate dehydrogenase) were carried out in liver and gills of fish exposed to 0.01, 0.05, 0.25, and 1 mg Cd/L for 4 days. Exposure to high Cd concentrations significantly altered the activity of these enzymes either in liver and/or in gills. Second, 2D-DIGE technique was used to identify proteins differentially expressed in tissues of ish exposed to either 0.01 or 1 mg Cd/L. Fifty-four hepatic protein spots and 37 branchial protein spots displayed significant changes in abundance in response to Cd exposure. A total of 26 and 12 different proteins were identified using nano LC-MS/ MS in liver and gills, respectively. The identified differentially expressed proteins can be categorized into diverse functional classes, related to metabolic process, general stress response, protein fate, and cell structure for instance. This work provides new insights into the biochemical and molecular events in Cd-induced toxicity in fish and suggests that further studies on the identified proteins could provide crucial information to better understand the mechanisms of Cd toxicity in ish.
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