Evaluation of metallothionein gene expression in liver tissue of Persian sturgeon () after exposure to water-soluble cadmium

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student in Marine Biology, Department of Marine Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor in Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute (IFSRI), Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor in Department of Fisheries, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran

4 Assistant Professor in Department of Marine Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

5 Assistant Professor in Department of Genetics, International Sturgeon Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Rasht, Iran


To evaluate the effect of cadmium on metallothionein gene expression changes as a biomarker, three experimental treatments including 200 (first treatment), 400 (second treatment) and 800 (third treatment) µg/L and a control (without cadmium) were considered with three replications. After 14 days’ period treatment with water soluble cadmium, the expression of metallothionein gene was investigated in the liver tissue of Persian sturgeon (Acipenser persicus). RNA extraction in liver tissue and cDNA synthesis were performed and the accuracy of gene expression and expression changes were evaluated by qualitative RT-PCR and quantitative Real Time PCR methods, respectively. Results of metallothionein gene expression after statistical analysis showed that the increasing cadmium concentration led to changes in metallothionein gene expression in the liver tissue of Persian sturgeon and at a concentration of 200µg/L showed a significant increase in metallothionein gene expression (P<0.05). Therefore, it can be concluded that changes in metallothionein gene expression in Persian sturgeon can be considered as a biomarker of exposure to cadmium heavy metal at a concentration of 200µg/L. But, in general, an increase in water-soluble cadmium does not always lead to an increase in gene expression in the liver tissue of Persian sturgeon, and probably, other mechanisms are involved in the transport of this metal in the body of Persian sturgeon.


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