, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 229-235

Bioaccumulation of Chlorpyrifos Through an Experimental Food Chain: Study of Protein HSP70 as Biomarker of Sublethal Stress in Fish

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The accumulation and transfer of the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos has been studied in an experimental aquatic two-level food chain using two species of the crustacean Artemia (A. franciscana and A. parthenogenetica) and the small fish Aphanius iberus. Artemia adults contaminated by exposure to the pesticide in water were used as live prey for Aphanius, the next trophic level. During the experimental bioaccumulation phase, fish were fed chlorpyrifos-contaminated Artemia pools with concentrations between 6.5 and 14.5 ng/g fresh weight for 32 days. Both concentrations accumulated in fish, and biomagnification factor (BMF) values showed a continuous decrease during the bioaccumulation phase, probably due to the physicochemical characteristics of the organophosphorus pesticide, to the biotransformation ability of fish and to the progressive adaptation of fish metabolism to toxic exposure. The first day that fish were fed uncontaminated preys, the pesticide accumulated via food was rapidly eliminated and was not detected.

The effect of chlorpyrifos exposure through the food chain on stress protein (HSP70) synthesis was measured as a general biochemical response of stress in the fish (A. iberus). The levels of HSP70 were significantly higher in fish fed on contaminated Artemia than in the control fish fed on uncontaminated Artemia. Results showed that the HSP70 induction in fish could be associated to exposure of chlorpyrifos via food.

Received: 22 January 2001/Accepted: 10 September 2001