The contamination of aquatic environments with microplastics (MPs) has spurred an unprecedented interest among scientific communities to investigate their impacts on biota. Despite the rapid growth in the number of studies on the aquatic toxicology of MPs, controversy over the fate and biological impacts of MPs is increasingly growing mainly due to the absence of standardized laboratory bioassays. Given the complex features of MPs, such as the diversity of constituent polymers, additives, shapes and sizes, as well as continuous changes in the particle buoyancy as a result of fouling and defouling processes, it is necessary to modify conventional bioassay protocols before employing them for MP toxicity testings. Moreover, several considerations including quantification of chemicals on/in the MP particles, choice of test organisms, approaches for renewing the test solution, aggregation prevention, stock solution preparation, and units used to report MP concentration in the test solution should be taken into account. This critical review suggests some important strategies to help conduct environmentally-relevant MP bioassays.
Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are considered among the most controversial biomarkers of water pollutants in fish with little known about factors influencing their activities. The objective of this study was to investigate how gender, dose, ploidy, and sampling time alter hepatic GST activities in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) following β-naphthoflavone (β-NF) injection. Newly matured male and female diploid and triploid fish were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 0, 15, or 75 mg/kg of β-NF, and livers were excised 24, 48, and 72 h post-injection. Results showed that hepatic GST activities were significantly inhibited by both doses of β-NF. Inhibition was greater in females than males, but no significant differences were observed between diploid and triploid fish. Enzymatic activities differed over time with lowest levels 72 h post-injection. These results extend our understanding of GST activity in fish and highlight the necessity of considering confounding factors when comparing different studies.
Cancer therapy in Malaysia primarily focuses on the clinical management of patients with cancer and malnutrition continues to be one of the major causes of death in these patients. There is a dearth of information on the nutrient intake and status of newly diagnosed patients with cancer prior to the initiation of treatment. The present study aims to assess the nutrient intake and status of newly diagnosed patients with cancer from the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Despite the ubiquity of microplastics (MPs) in aquatic environments and their proven ability to carry a wide variety of chemicals, very little is known about the impacts of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of virgin or phenanthrene (Phe)-loaded low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments on a suite of biomarker responses in juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Virgin LDPE (50 or 500µg/L) were preloaded with one of two nominal Phe concentrations (10 or 100µg/L) and were exposed to the fish for 96h. Our findings showed one or both Phe treatments significantly increased the degree of tissue change (DTC) in the liver while decreased the transcription levels of forkhead box L2 (foxl2) and tryptophan hydroxylase2 (tph2) in the brain of C. gariepinus. Exposure to either levels of virgin MPs increased the DTC in the liver and plasma albumin: globulin ratio while decreased the transcription levels of tph2. Moreover, MPs modulated (interacted with) the impact of Phe on the DTC in the gill, plasma concentrations of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), total protein (TP), albumin, and globulin, and the transcription levels of fushi tarazu-factor 1 (ftz-f1), gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-hsd2), and liver glycogen stores. Results of this study highlight the ability of virgin LDPE fragments to cause toxicity and to modulate the adverse impacts of Phe in C. gariepinus. Due to the wide distribution of MPs and other classes of contaminants in aquatic environments, further studies are urgently needed to elucidate the toxicity of virgin or contaminant-loaded MPs on organisms.
Naturally-occurring and artificially-induced polyploids have been documented in various fish species but to date no comparison has been reported of the impacts of ploidy on fish biomarker responses to organic pollutants. This study describes effects of ploidy, gender, and dose on biliary fluorescent aromatic compound (FAC) concentrations, hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities in one of the most commonly cultured warm-water species, the African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Recently matured male and female diploid and triploid fish were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 0, 5 or 25mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and liver and gallbladder were sampled 48hr later. No significant differences were found between ploidies in bile concentrations of 7,8 dihydrodiolbenzo[a]pyrene (7,8D BaP), 1-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (1-OH BaP) or 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (3-OH BaP). However, concentrations of the biliary FACs did differ between males and females at different dose of injection with generally higher concentrations in females at the low dose of BaP and higher concentrations in males at the higher BaP concentration. Hepatic EROD activity did not exhibit gender-dependent difference, whereas it was significantly higher in triploids than diploids. GST activities were not significantly influenced by any of the tested factors. This work advanced our understanding of the role of ploidy, gender, and dose in biotransformation of pollutants in fish.
This study represents a first attempt at applying a fuzzy inference system (FIS) and an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) to the field of aquatic biomonitoring for classification of the dosage and time of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) injection through selected biomarkers in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish were injected either intramuscularly (i.m.) or intraperitoneally (i.p.) with BaP. Hepatic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities, relative visceral fat weights (LSI), and four biliary fluorescent aromatic compounds (FACs) concentrations were used as the inputs in the modeling study. Contradictory rules in FIS and ANFIS models appeared after conversion of bioassay results into human language (rule-based system). A "data trimming" approach was proposed to eliminate the conflicts prior to fuzzification. However, the model produced was relevant only to relatively low exposures to BaP, especially through the i.m. route of exposure. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis was unable to raise the classification rate to an acceptable level. In conclusion, FIS and ANFIS models have limited applications in the field of fish biomarker studies.
This study examined the potential of artificial neural network (ANN) modeling to infer timing, route and dose of contaminant exposure from biomarkers in a freshwater fish. Hepatic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and biliary concentrations of BaP, 1-OH BaP, 3-OH BaP and 7,8D BaP were quantified in juvenile Clarias gariepinus injected intramuscularly or intraperitoneally with 10-50 mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) 1-3 d earlier. A feedforward multilayer perceptron (MLP) ANN resulted in more accurate prediction of timing, route and exposure dose than a linear neural network or a radial basis function (RBF) ANN. MLP sensitivity analyses revealed contribution of all five biomarkers to predicting route of exposure but no contribution of hepatic GST activity or one of the two hydroxylated BaP metabolites to predicting time of exposure and dose of exposure. We conclude that information content of biomarkers collected from fish can be extended by judicious use of ANNs.
This study investigated the dose-dependent and time-course effects of intramuscular (i.m.) and intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) on the biomarkers EROD activity, GST activity, concentrations of BaP metabolites in bile, and visceral fat deposits (Lipid Somatic Index, LSI) in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Intraperitoneal injection resulted in 4.5 times higher accumulation of total selected biliary FACs than i.m. injection. Hepatic GST activities were inhibited by BaP via both injection methods. Dose-response relationships between BaP injection and both biliary FAC concentrations and hepatic GST activities were linear in the i.p. injected group but nonlinear in the i.m. injected fish. Hepatic EROD activity and LSI were not significantly affected by BaP exposure by either injection route. We conclude that i.p. is a more effective route of exposure than i.m. for future ecotoxicological studies of PAH exposure in C. gariepinus.
Fish tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus were collected from a contaminated Seri Serdang (SS) pond potentially receiving domestic effluents and an uncontaminated pond from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The fish were dissected into four parts namely gills, muscles, intestines, and liver. All the fish parts were pooled and analyzed for the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Generally, the concentrations of all metals were low in the edible muscle in comparison to the other parts of the fish. It was found that the levels of all the heavy metals in the different parts of fish collected from the SS were significantly (P<0.05) higher than those from UPM, indicating greater metal bioavailabilities in the SS pond. The sediment data also showed a similar pattern with significantly (P<0.05) higher metal concentrations in SS than in UPM, indicating higher metal contamination in SS. Potential health risk assessments based on provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) and the amount of fish required to reach the PTWI values, estimated daily intake (EDI), and target hazard quotient (THQ) indicated that health risks associated with heavy metal exposure via consumption of the fish's muscles were insignificant to human. Therefore, the consumption of the edible muscles of tilapia from both ponds should pose no toxicological risk of heavy metals since their levels are also below the recommended safety guidelines. While it is advisable to discard the livers, gills, and intestines of the two tilapia fish populations before consumption, there were no potential human health risks of heavy metals to the consumers on the fish muscle part.
A total of 40 marine mussel Perna viridis populations collected (2002-2009) from 20 geographical sites located in two busy shipping lanes namely the Straits of Malacca (10 sites; 16 populations) and the Straits of Johore (8 sites; 21 populations) and three populations (2 sites) on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, was determined for Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn concentrations. In comparison with the maximum permissible limits (MPLs) set by existing food safety guidelines, all metal concentrations found in all the mussel populations were lower than the prescribed MPLs. In terms of the provisional tolerable weekly intake prescribed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and oral reference doses (ORDs) by the USEPA, all the studied metals (except for Pb) were unlikely to become the limiting factors or unlikely to pose a risk for the consumption of the mussel populations. The estimated daily intake (EDI) for average level mussel (ALM) and high level mussel (HLM) consumers of mussels was found to be lower than the ORD guidelines for Cd, Cu, Fe, Ni and Zn. Furthermore, the target hazard quotient (THQ) was found to be less than 1 for ALM consumers but higher than 1 for HLM consumers in some sites. Therefore, there were no potential human health risks to the ALM consumers of the mussels. However, for Pb THQ values, the Pb levels in some mussel populations could create a health risk problem. Present results indicate that the consumption amounts of mussels should be limited for minimizing potential health risks of heavy metals to the HLM consumers.
Information on the biological responses of polyploid animals towards environmental contaminants is scarce. This study aimed to compare reproductive axis-related gene expressions in the brain, plasma biochemical responses, and the liver and gill histopathological alterations in diploid and triploid full-sibling juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish were exposed for 96 h to one of the two waterborne phenanthrene (Phe) concentrations [mean measured (SD): 6.2 (2.4) and 76 (4.2) μg/L]. In triploids, exposure to 76 μg/L Phe increased mRNA level of fushi tarazu-factor 1 (ftz-f1). Expression of tryptophan hydroxylase2 (tph2) was also elevated in both ploidies following the exposure to 76 μg/L Phe compared to the solvent control. In triploids, 76 μg/L Phe increased plasma alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels compared to the other Phe-exposed group. It also elevated lactate and glucose contents relative to the other groups. In diploids, however, biochemical biomarkers did not change. Phenanthrene exposures elevated glycogen contents and the prevalence of histopathological lesions in the liver and gills of both ploidies. This study showed substantial differences between diploids and triploids on biochemical and molecular biomarker responses, but similar histopathological alterations following acute Phe exposures.
There is a paucity of information about the occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in edible fish tissues. Here, we investigated the potential presence of MPs in the excised organs (viscera and gills) and eviscerated flesh (whole fish excluding the viscera and gills) of four commonly consumed dried fish species (n = 30 per species). The MP chemical composition was then determined using micro-Raman spectroscopy and elemental analysis with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Out of 61 isolated particles, 59.0% were plastic polymers, 21.3% were pigment particles, 6.55% were non-plastic items (i.e. cellulose or actinolite), while 13.1% remained unidentified. The level of heavy metals on MPs or pigment particles were below the detection limit. Surprisingly, in two species, the eviscerated flesh contained higher MP loads than the excised organs, which highlights that evisceration does not necessarily eliminate the risk of MP intake by consumers. Future studies are encouraged to quantify anthropogenic particle loads in edible fish tissues.
Silver barb Barbodes gonionotus fry were exposed to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fragments at increasing concentrations of 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/L for 96 h, following which whole body histological evaluation and analysis of the digestive enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin were performed. Whole body trypsin and chymotrypsin activities increased significantly in fish exposed to 0.5 and 1.0 mg/L PVC as compared those exposed to zero or 0.2 mg/L PVC. In fish exposed to all tested concentrations, PVCs were observed in both the proximal and distal intestine, and fish exposed to 0.5-1.0 and 1.0 mg/L PVC, respectively, and these particles were associated with localized thickening of the mucosal epithelium. No tissue damage was evident in any other internal organs or gills. This lack of damage may be attributed to the absence of contaminants associated with the PVC fragments and their relatively smooth surface. The increased whole body trypsin and chymotrypsin activities may indicate an attempt to enhance digestion to compensate for epithelial thickening of the intestine and/or to digest the plastics.
In this study we sought to optimize recovery of fluorescent aromatic compounds (FACs) from the bile of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) injected with 10mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). Fractions of pooled bile were hydrolyzed, combined with ten volumes of methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, or acetone, centrifuged and supernatants were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescent detection (HPLC/FL). As well, to test whether FACs were being lost in solids from the centrifugation, pellets were resuspended, hydrolyzed and mixed with six volumes of the organic solvent that produced best FAC recovery from the supernatant, and subjected to HPLC/FL. Highest FAC concentrations were obtained with 2000μl and 1250μl acetone for supernatants and resuspended pellets respectively. FACs concentrations were negatively correlated with biliary protein content but were unaffected by addition of bovine serum albumin (BSA) followed by no incubation indicating that the presence of proteins in the biliary mixture does not simply interfere with detection of FACs. In another experiment, efficiency of acetone addition was compared to two different liquid-liquid extractions (L-LEs). Acetone additions provided significantly higher biliary FACs than the L-LE methods. The new two-stage bile preparation with acetone is an efficient, inexpensive and easily performed method.
This study examined the potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa abundance in the intestines of fish as an indicator of exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). P. aeruginosa populations were enumerated in juvenile African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) injected intramuscularly three days previous with 0, 10, 30, 40, 50 or 70mg/kg of BaP. Hepatic EROD and GST activities and biliary fluorescent aromatic compounds (FACs) 1-OH BaP, 3-OH BaP, 7,8-D BaP and BaP were quantified to investigate agreements between the new indicator and established fish biomarkers. The shape of bacterial population (logarithm of colony-forming unit) dose-response curve generally matched those of biliary FACs concentrations. Conversely, the EROD and GST dose-response curves were generally the mirror images of the bacterial population curve. Changes in intestinal P. aeruginosa population appear to be an indirect effect of BaP exposure because exposure to 0-100μg/ml BaP had no effect on P. aeruginosa populations grown on agar plates containing BaP. Using intestinal P. aeruginosa population of fish as a universal indicator of BaP pollution in aquatic environments is discussed.Conversely, the EROD and GST dose-response curves were generally the mirror images of the bacterial population curve.
The impacts of environmental stressors on polyploid organisms are largely unknown. This study investigated changes in morphometric, molecular, and biochemical parameters in full-sibling diploid and triploid African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in response to chlorpyrifos (CPF) exposures. Juvenile fish were exposed to three concentrations of CPF (mean measured μg/L (SD): 9.71 (2.27), 15.7 (3.69), 31.21 (5.04)) under a static-renewal condition for 21days. Diploid control groups had higher hepatosomatic index (HSI), plasma testosterone (T), and brain GnRH and cyp19a2 expression levels than triploids. In CPF-exposed groups, changes in HSI, total weight and length were different between the diploid and triploid fish. In contrast, condition factor did not alter in any of the treatments, while visceral-somatic index (VSI) changed only in diploids. In diploid fish, exposure to CPF did not change brain 11β-hsd2, ftz-f1, foxl2, GnRH or cyp19a2 mRNA levels, while reduced tph2 transcript levels compared to the control group. In contrast, 11β-hsd2 and foxl2 expression levels were changed in triploids following CPF exposures. In diploids, plasma T levels showed a linear dose-response reduction across CPF treatments correlating with liver weight and plasma total cholesterol concentrations. In contrast, no changes in plasma cholesterol and T concentrations were observed in triploids. Plasma cortisol and 17-β estradiol (E2) showed no response to CPF exposure in either ploidy. Results of this first comparison of biomarker responses to pesticide exposure in diploid and polyploid animals showed substantial differences between diploid and triploid C. gariepinus.
Skin is a major by-product of the fisheries and aquaculture industries and is a valuable source of gelatin. This study examined the effect of triploidization on gelatin yield and proximate composition of the skin of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). We further investigated the effects of two commonly used pesticides, chlorpyrifos (CPF) and butachlor (BUC), on the skin gelatin yield and amino acid composition in juvenile full-sibling diploid and triploid African catfish. In two separate experiments, diploid and triploid C. gariepinus were exposed for 21 days to graded CPF [mean measured: 10, 16, or 31 μg/L] or BUC concentrations [Mean measured: 22, 44, or 60 μg/L]. No differences in skin gelatin yield, amino acid or proximate compositions were observed between diploid and triploid control groups. None of the pesticide treatments affected the measured parameters in diploid fish. In triploids, however, gelatin yield was affected by CPF treatments while amino acid composition remained unchanged. Butachlor treatments did not alter any of the measured variables in triploid fish. To our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate changes in the skin gelatin yield and amino acid composition in any animal as a response to polyploidization and/or contaminant exposure.
Influence of waterborne butachlor (BUC), a commonly used pesticide, on morphometric, biochemical, and molecular biomarkers was evaluated in juvenile, full sibling, diploid and triploid African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish were exposed for 21 days to one of three concentrations of BUC [mean measured µg/L: 22, 44 or 60]. Unexposed (control) triploids were heavier and longer and had higher visceral-somatic index (VSI) than diploids. Also, they had lighter liver weight (HSI) and showed lower transcript levels of brain gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), aromatase (cyp191b) and fushi tarazu-factor (ftz-f1), and plasma testosterone levels than diploids. Butachlor treatments had no effects, in either diploid or triploid fish, on VSI, HSI, weight or length changes, condition factor (CF), levels of plasma testosterone, 17-β estradiol (E2), cortisol, cholesterol, or mRNA levels of brain tryptophan hydroxylase (tph2), forkhead box L2 (foxl2), and 11 β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-hsd2). Expressions of cyp191b and ftz-f1 in triploids were upregulated by the two highest concentrations of BUC. In diploid fish, however, exposures to all BUC concentrations decreased GnRH transcription and the medium BUC concentration decreased ftz-f1 transcription. Substantial differences between ploidies in basal biomarker responses are consistent with the reported impaired reproductive axis in triploid C. gariepinus. Furthermore, the present study showed the low impact of short term exposure to BUC on reproductive axis in C. gariepinus.
The occurrence of microplastics (MPs) in saltwater bodies is relatively well studied, but nothing is known about their presence in most of the commercial salts that are widely consumed by humans across the globe. Here, we extracted MP-like particles larger than 149 μm from 17 salt brands originating from 8 different countries followed by the identification of their polymer composition using micro-Raman spectroscopy. Microplastics were absent in one brand while others contained between 1 to 10 MPs/Kg of salt. Out of the 72 extracted particles, 41.6% were plastic polymers, 23.6% were pigments, 5.50% were amorphous carbon, and 29.1% remained unidentified. The particle size (mean ± SD) was 515 ± 171 μm. The most common plastic polymers were polypropylene (40.0%) and polyethylene (33.3%). Fragments were the primary form of MPs (63.8%) followed by filaments (25.6%) and films (10.6%). According to our results, the low level of anthropogenic particles intake from the salts (maximum 37 particles per individual per annum) warrants negligible health impacts. However, to better understand the health risks associated with salt consumption, further development in extraction protocols are needed to isolate anthropogenic particles smaller than 149 μm.
There are serious concerns over the adverse impacts of microplastics (MPs) on living organisms. The main objective of this study was to test the effects of MPs on the total length, weight, condition factor (CF), transcriptional level of antioxidant, anti and pro-apoptotic, and neurotransmitter genes, and the histopathology of the gill, liver, brain, kidney, and intestine in the larvae of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Fish were exposed to one of three levels of pristine low-density polyethylene (LDPE) fragments (5, 50, or 500 μg/L) for 10 or 20 days. No significant changes were observed in any of the selected biomarkers across MP concentrations at days 10 or 20. The expression of casp9 (caspase 9, apoptosis-related cysteine protease), casp3a (caspase 3, apoptosis-related cysteine protease a) and cat (catalase), however, were significantly lower in the larvae sampled at day 20 than day 10. We provide evidence that virgin short-term exposure to LDPE fragments has minimal impact on biomarker responses in D. rerio larvae.