Exposure to Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water Impairs Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) Cardiomyocyte Contractile Function and Swimming Performance

Erik J. Folkerts, Rachael M. Heuer, Shannon Flynn, John D. Stieglitz, Daniel D. Benetti, Daniel S. Alessi, Greg G. Goss, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Publicly available toxicological studies on wastewaters associated with unconventional oil and gas (UOG) activities in offshore regions are nonexistent. The current study investigated the impact of hydraulic fracturing-generated flowback water (HF-FW) on whole organism swimming performance/respiration and cardiomyocyte contractility dynamics in mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus - hereafter referred to as "mahi"), an organism which inhabits marine ecosystems where offshore hydraulic fracturing activity is intensifying. Following exposure to 2.75% HF-FW for 24 h, mahi displayed significantly reduced critical swimming speeds (Ucrit) and aerobic scopes (reductions of ∼40 and 61%, respectively) compared to control fish. Additionally, cardiomyocyte exposures to the same HF-FW sample at 2% dilutions reduced a multitude of mahi sarcomere contraction properties at various stimulation frequencies compared to all other treatment groups, including an approximate 40% decrease in sarcomere contraction size and a nearly 50% reduction in sarcomere relaxation velocity compared to controls. An approximate 8-fold change in expression of the cardiac contractile regulatory gene cmlc2 was also seen in ventricles from 2.75% HF-FW-exposed mahi. These results collectively identify cardiac function as a target for HF-FW toxicity and provide some of the first published data on UOG toxicity in a marine species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13579-13589
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume54
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 3 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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