Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 31–37

In vitro cytotoxicity of metals to bluegill (BF-2) cells


  • H. Babich
    • Laboratory Animal Research CenterThe Rockefeller University
  • J. A. Puerner
    • Laboratory Animal Research CenterThe Rockefeller University
  • E. Borenfreund
    • Laboratory Animal Research CenterThe Rockefeller University

DOI: 10.1007/BF01055246

Cite this article as:
Babich, H., Puerner, J.A. & Borenfreund, E. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1986) 15: 31. doi:10.1007/BF01055246


BF-2 cells, an established fibroblastic cell line derived from the caudal fin of bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), were exposed to 18 metal salts. Cytotoxieity was assayed by the neutral red (NR) technique. Based on the concentration of metal that reduced the uptake of neutral red by 50% (NR50), the rank order of Cytotoxieity for the cationic metals was silver > mercury > cadmium > zinc > copper > cobalt > nickel > lead > tin > manganese > chromium (trivalent), and for the anionic metal complexes it was arsenite > dichromate > chromate > arsenate > selenite > permanganate > selenate. There was a strong correlation (r = 0.909) between the NR50 ranking for the divalent metal cations and their chemical softness parameters (σp). A good correlation (r=0.833) was also found between thein vitro NR50 Cytotoxieity values for the cationic metals and thein vivo water-borne LC50 values for bluegill. There was no correlation, however, between NR50 and LC50 data for the anionic metal complexes, primarily due to the unusual tolerance, as reported in the literature, of fish for hexavalent chromium salts.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986