At selected sites around the UK, the offshore sentinel flatfish species dab Limanda limanda are found to contain elevated levels of macroscopic liver tumors. Previous proteomic and metabolomic studies have demonstrated that differences exist between tumor and non-tumor tissues; however, these differing features were not identified, and little is known about the changes at the gene expression level, or whether prognostic markers are present and can be identified. A flounder Platichthys flesus custom cDNA microarray and RT-PCR were used to investigate hepatic mRNA expression in the histologically confirmed tumors, hepatocellular adenoma (HA) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HC) from dab, and in adjacent normal tissue from the same fish. Differences in gene expression were observed between tumor and normal tissues, and between tumor types. A class-prediction approach using 50 transcripts revealed sufficient group-specific expression profiles to allow segregation of samples dependent on their tumor type or the sex of the host. Vitellogenins were found to display the greatest induction (up to 500-fold induction) in some HC tumors from female fish and in both HA and HC tumors from males. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the association of vitellogenin expression with tumors of wild fish.
- Limanda limanda
- Marine environment