Aquatic ecotoxicological assessment of sediments collected in Bergen using in vitro bioassays based on fish cell lines
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Bergen is located along the coast in western Norway and is the second biggest city in the country, acting as a gateway to oceans and fjords in the region featuring extensive fish populations. As such, environmental evaluation has been a major focus of aquatic ecosystem research, with various sources of pollutants caused by human activity, including petroleum, shipping, tourism and domestic sewage. This thesis, using in vitro bioassays with fish cell lines, was carried out to conduct an environmental assessment of sediments collected along the coastline and around Bergen. By using fish cell lines (i.e., PLHC-1 and RTgill-W1), the toxicity and quality of sediments were assessed by in vitro bioassays, including general cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species production assay (ROS) and metabolism of cytochrome P-4501A enzyme (EROD activity). Sediment samples were collected from seven sites in total and prepared with mechanical extraction at the University of Bergen. The obtained results were compared to controls at different doses of each sediment sample extract. The cell viability, ROS production, and EROD activity showed an adverse outcome data with both cell lines. The results with PLHC-1 cells show a more sensitive response in cytotoxicity tests than RTgill-W1 cells, and are capable of distinguishing the most toxic sediment samples in comparison to the other sites. ROS assay results showed higher sensitivity with RTgill-W1 cells, and it revealed more samples possessing toxicity. The overall data, after the principal component analysis (PCA) with the concentration of marked chemicals from the in vitro bioassays selected for this study, was capable of assessing the environmental quality of sediments and identifying a higher anthropogenic impact.
Master's thesis in Environmental technology