Investigating proteomic profiles of skin mucus and blood plasma of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to low concentrations of waterborne nickel
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The Ontario Ring of Fire located in the James Bay Lowlands is a nickel rich ore with ongoing mining proposals. This raises the possibility of nickel contamination in one of Ontario’s most precious freshwater regions and peatlands. However, impacts of nickel exposure on freshwater fish species remain elusive. To study the impacts in fish when they are exposed to low, environmentally relevant concentrations of nickel (1 – 46 ppb), we examined changes in protein profiles of skin mucus and blood plasma of rainbow trout using untargeted proteomics. The use of non-lethal blood sampling and non-invasive mucus sampling is becoming increasingly desirable to study toxicological effects. Findings suggest that the proteome of rainbow trout is sensitive to low doses of nickel. Primarily, proteins involved in neurological development were impacted in both plasma and mucus proteins. We also find an increase in nickel burden in blood plasma of trout at these concentrations.