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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry