Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Biochemical response of diverse organs in adult Danio rerio (zebrafish) exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of microcystin-LR and microcystin-RR: a balneation study.

PMID 22207040


The present study was carried out to examine the dose-response of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and microcystin-RR (MC-RR) toxicity in adult Danio rerio (zebrafish) under balneation conditions at various time points. The differential responses of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) as biomarkers were assessed for oxygen mediated toxicity in liver, gills, intestine and brain tissues of zebrafish exposed to dissolved MC-LR and MC-RR (0.1-10.0 μgl(-1)). To investigate the time related response of biomarkers, fish were sampled after 4, 7 and 15 days of exposure. Responses varied (i) between MC-LR and MC-RR (for certain groups), (ii) for different enzymes at all time points, and (iii) for different tissues. In general, most of the enzymes followed a bell shaped curve, with an abrupt increase in activity at a particular concentration. It was observed that upon exposure to MC-LR and MC-RR, some enzymes showed an adaptive response after the first time point wherein the enzyme activity increased in some tissues. The increase in enzyme activity is suggestive of their cellular and metabolic adaptations to the continued stress and toxin exposure. Enzyme activities in general increased at lower concentrations (≤ 5.0 μgl(-1)) and decreased at higher concentrations (≥ 5.0 μgl(-1)). An abrupt change in enzyme activities was observed at a particular concentration in all the tissue enzymes. For GPx and GR, there was a differential response in the case of fish exposed to MC-LR and MC-RR, which could be due to the difference in toxicity potentials of these cyanotoxins. In general, initial stress conditions were observed in most of the tissue enzymes following the exposure to microcystins (MCs). This observation suggests that MCs found in trace levels are likely to have deleterious effects on aquatic organisms and can trigger a variety of biochemical responses depending on their specific toxicity.

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