Accumulation, histopathology and immunotoxicological effects of waterborne cadmium on gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata)

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Abstract

Studies in fish have demonstrated that Cd-exposure produce skeletal deformities and alterations in tissue morphology, enzyme activities, stress response, ion regulation and immune response. In the present work, gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) specimens were exposed to waterborne Cd (5 μM CdCl2 or 1 mg L−1) for 2, 10 or 30 days. Organo-somatic changes, Cd accumulation, liver histology and humoral and cellular immune responses were determined. Results showed that exposure of seabream specimens to Cd induced no alterations on spleen and liver organo-somatic indexes whilst produced progressive deleterious morphological alterations in liver and exocrine pancreas that correlated with the hepatic Cd-accumulation. Regarding the immunotoxicological potential, strikingly, Cd-exposure produced a reduction in the serum complement activity and leucocyte respiratory burst to a significant extent after 10 and 30 days whilst the serum peroxidase activity and leucocyte phagocytosis were increased at different sampling times. On the other hand, serum IgM levels and leucocyte peroxidase activity resulted unaltered. The present results seem to indicate that seabream exposed to Cd in the present conditions suffer toxicity.

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