Mercury Accumulation, Structural Damages, and Antioxidant and Immune Status Changes in the Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata L.) Exposed to Methylmercury.
In the present study, we investigated the mercury distribution, mercury bioaccumulation, and oxidative parameters in the Neotropical fish Hoplias malabaricus after trophic exposure. Forty-three individuals were distributed into three groups (two exposed and one control) and trophically exposed to fourteen doses of methylmercury each 5 days, totalizing the doses of 1.05 μg g−1 (M1.05) and 10.5 μg g−1 (M10.5 group). Autometallography technique revealed the presence of mercury in the intestinal epithelia, hepatocytes, and renal tubule cells. Mercury distribution was dose-dependent in the three organs: intestine, liver, and kidney. Reduced glutathione concentration, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione S-transferase significantly decreased in the liver of M1.05, but glutathione reductase increased and lipid peroxidation levels were not altered. In the M10.5, most biomarkers were not altered; only catalase activity decreased. Hepatic and muscle mercury bioaccumulation was dose-dependent, but was not influenced by fish sex. The mercury localization and bioaccumulation corroborates some histopathological findings in this fish species (previously verified by Mela et al. in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 68:426–435, 2007). However, the results of redox biomarkers did not explain histopathological findings previously reported in M10.5. Thus, fish accommodation to the stressor may reestablish antioxidant status at the highest dose, but not avoid cell injury.