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Title: Effects of chronic exposure to lead, copper, zinc, and cadmium on biomarkers of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla
Author: Nunes, Bruno
Capela, Ricardo Campinho
Sérgio, Tânia
Caldeira, Carina
Gonçalves, Fernando
Correia, Alberto Teodorico
Keywords: Biomarkers
Chronic toxicity
European eel
Oxidative stress
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Abstract: Exposure to specific metallic compounds can cause severe deleterious modifications in organisms. Fishes are particularly prone to toxic effects from exposure to metallic compounds via their environment. Species that inhabit estuaries or freshwater environments can be chronically affected by persistent exposure to a large number of metallic compounds, particularly those released by industrial activities. In this study, we exposed yellow eels (European eel, Anguilla anguilla) for 28 days to environmentally relevant concentrations of four specific metals; lead (300, 600, and 1,200 μg/l), copper (40, 120, and 360 μg/l), zinc (30, 60, and 120 μg/l) and cadmium (50, 150, and 450 μg/l). The selected endpoints to assess the toxicological effects were neurotransmission (cholinesterasic activity in nervous tissue), antioxidant defense, and phase II metabolism (glutathione-S-transferase [GST] activity, in both gills and liver tissues), and peroxidative damage. The results showed an overall lack of effects on acetylcholinesterase for all tested metals. Lead, copper, and cadmium exposure caused a significant, dose-dependent, increase in GST activity in gill tissue. However, liver GST only significantly increased following zinc exposure. No statistically significant effects were observed for the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay, indicating the absence of peroxidative damage. These findings suggest that, despite the occurrence of an oxidative-based response after exposure to lead, copper, and cadmium, this had no consequence in terms of peroxidative membrane damage; furthermore, cholinergic neurotoxicity caused by lead, copper, and cadmium did not occur. The implications of these results are further discussed.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-2485-0
ISSN: 0944-1344
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