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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biotransformation, genotoxic, and histopathological effects of environmental contaminants in European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.).

A prolonged toxicity study was carried out in young European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) to evaluate the effects of environmental contaminants, namely, two individual standard compounds, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and dehydroabietic acid (DHAA), and a complex mixture, bleached kraft pulp mill effluent (BKPME). Fish were exposed to BaP (0.22, 0.45, and 0.9 microM) and BKPME (3.12%, 6.25%, and 12.5% (v/v)) for 3, 7, and 30 days and to DHAA (0.07, 0.15, and 0.30 microM) for 3, 7, 30, 90, and 180 days. The biomarkers include biotransformation and genotoxicity indicators, such as total ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity and frequency of erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENAs), respectively. Hematological dynamics was assessed as frequency of immature erythrocytes (IEs). Histopathological examinations were carried out for the highest concentrations and for 30 days and longer exposures. Total EROD increases significantly only after 180 days of DHAA exposure. However, significant ENA induction was generally observed during exposure to all contaminants tested. Nevertheless, some of the ENA results suggest an altered genotoxic response, which may arise either from short-term exposures to the highest contaminant levels or long-term exposures to the lowest contaminant levels. IE frequency decreased significantly after 30 days of exposure to 0.45 microM BaP and 180 days of exposure to the entire DHAA concentration range. Increased density of pigmented macrophage aggregates in 30-day BaP- and BKPME-exposed fish as well as in 90- and 180-day DHAA-exposed fish confirmed histopathological liver alterations. Bile accumulation in hepatocytes after BaP treatment, cytoplasmic vacuolization and cell atrophy following DHAA exposure, as well as liver loss of parenchymal cells in BKPME-exposed fish, were also detected. Dispersed necrosis and focal inflammation were observed in the livers of all treated groups. Fish exposed to DHAA and BKPME showed skin and gill disruption as well as kidney Malpighian corpuscle alterations. All 30-day-treated groups revealed intense spleen hemosiderosis, indicating increased erythrophagia. This splenic effect may be strongly correlated with the observed disappearance of ENAs. Neoplastic lesions were not found. A multibiomarker strategy, which includes EROD, ENA, and IE assays as well as histopathological studies, contributed to a better understanding of the global toxic process.[1]


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