JOURNAL ARTICLE

Time-dependent oxidative stress and histopathological changes in Cyprinus carpio L. exposed to microcystin-LR

Jinlin Jiang, Xueyuan Gu, Rui Song, Qian Zhang, Jinju Geng, Xiaorong Wang, Liuyan Yang
Ecotoxicology 2011, 20 (5): 1000-9
21455607
Microcystins (MCs) are produced by cyanobacteria in aquatic environments and are a potential risk to aquatic organisms. Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress may play an important role in the toxicity mechanism of MCs on fish, but most studies were based on relatively high concentrations. In this study, the effect of time-dependent oxidative stress in livers of Cyprinus carpio L. (C. carpio) exposed to 10 μg l(-1) of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) for 0-14 days was investigated. MC-LR induced histopathological changes in liver and gills were also assessed after 14 days exposure. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum was used to directly investigate the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in fish liver and results showed that hydroxyl radical ((∙)OH) was significantly induced at 0.5 day and then tended to decline with an increase of exposure period. As a response of antioxidant, catalase (CAT) activity increased slightly at first and then decreased with exposure period. A pronounced promotion of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) indicated that the conjugation reaction of MC-LR and GSH occurred. A time-dependent decrease of reduced glutathione (GSH) with an increase of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) level suggested GSH was involved in detoxification of MC-LR in the liver. Oxidative damage was evidenced by the significant increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) level at 2-6 days. After 14 days exposure, a series of pathological changes, like partially dissolved parenchymal architecture, vacuolar degeneration, necrosis, hemorrhage and slight inflammatory cells infiltration in fish liver tissues could be observed. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) studies showed that dissolved MC-LR could also result in pathological changes like partial broken epithelial cells, deformed taste buds and loose gill filament and lamella in gill tissues. These results suggest that although a restoring response occurred, C. carpio could still be adversely affected by MC-LR at 10 μg l(-1).

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