Microcystin-LR leads to oxidative damage and alterations in antioxidant defense system in liver and gills ofBrycon amazonicus(SPIX & AGASSIZ, 1829)

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Microcystin's (MCs) are toxins produced by several groups of cyanobacteria, in water bodies throughout the world, in a process which is being intensified by human action. Among the variants of MCs, MC-LR stands out for its distribution and toxicity. MCs are potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases 1 and 2 A, which causes disruption of the cytoskeleton and consequent cell death. They can also alter the antioxidant system and induce oxidative stress in various organs of many species. There is, however, a lack of information about the effects of MCs on the antioxidant system and oxidative damage in Brazilian fishes. This study evaluated the effect of microcystin-LR on the antioxidant system in liver and gills of the Brazilian fish Brycon amazonicus, after 48 h of i.p injection of 100 μg MC-LR.kg−1 body mass. The liver exhibited increases in the activity of GST (74%) and GPx (217%), and a 47% decrease in SOD activity, with no changes in CAT values. In the gills of fish exposed to MC-LR, CAT and GPx activities did not show significant changes, while SOD and GST activity decreased by 66% and 37%, respectively. The GSH content did not change significantly in the liver, however, a decrease of 43% was observed in the gills. Oxidative damage measured by protein oxidation (PC) and lipoperoxidation (LPO) showed significant effects in both tissues. In hepatic tissue, there was no change in PC levels but LPO increased by 116%. Conversely, in the gills LPO levels did not change but PC increased by 317%. In conclusion, these data show that MC-LR induces oxidative damage in both tissues but in different ways, with being liver most sensitive to LPO and gills to PC. This also suggests that the gills are most sensitive to oxidative stress than liver, due to the inhibition of its antioxidant responses following MC-LR exposure.HighlightsExposure to Microcystin-LR caused protein oxidation.MC-LR exposure induced lipoperoxidation in the liver.MC-LR exposure inhibited the antioxidant responses of gills.

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