Developmental abnormalities following exposure to crude oil (Carls and Rice, 1990; Carls et al., 1999; Carls and Thedinga, 2010; Incardona et al., 2009; Incardona et al., 2005; Incardona et al., 2011; Incardona et al., 2012; Pollino and Holdway, 2002)and produced water (Meier et al., 2010) have previously been shown in teleost larvae. A recent gene expression study on cod indicated that crude oil exposure could influence the balance between bone resorption and bone formation in a negative manner (Olsvik et al., 2011). In addition, another study on cod larvae revealed that dispersed crude oil affected the transcription of several genes involved in vitamin A signaling and metabolism pathway (Olsvik et al. unpublished results). Vitamin A, through its active metabolite retinoic acid, is involved in several key developmental processes also reported to be affected by oil contaminants such as limb and skeletal development and pigmentation (Meier et. al. 2010). Several of the PAHs in crude oil like phenanthrene, benzo(a)pyrene, pyrene, fluorine and chrysene have also been identified in crude vegetable oils as result of processing. Although the toxic effect of several common PAHs have been previously investigated, little is known about the toxicity of the light PAHs. Especially their effect on vitamin A metabolism and bone development remains lucid.
We wish to investigate the effect of oil pollutants and PAHs on bone development and vitamin A metabolism in haddock larvae. We also aim to investigate the toxic effects of selected light PAHs which not only are relevant for oil pollution but which also are present in vegetable oil used in fish feed.