Date: 09 Oct 2006

Impact of Waterborne Copper on the Structure of Gills and Hepatopancreas and Its Impact on the Content of Metallothionein in Juvenile Giant Freshwater Prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii (Crustacea: Decapoda)

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This study aims to elucidate both the impact of copper on the structure of the gills and hepatopancreas and the induction of metallothionein (MT) during waterborne copper exposure in juvenile Macrobrachium rosenbergii. Structural observations were performed with light microscopy, and the MT titrations were performed with the cadmium saturation assay. The structural changes that occurred in the gills and hepatopancreas appeared to result from copper accumulation, and the degree of damage observed in both tissues was relevant to the elevated waterborne copper concentration. Exposure to copper concentrations ranging from 0.01 mg/L to 0.4 mg/L for 7 days resulted in profound structural changes including the accumulation of hemocytes in the hemocoelic space; swelling and fusion of the lamellae; abnormal gill tips; and hyperplastic, necrotic, and clavate–globate lamellae in the gills. Similarly, hemocytic infiltration in the interstitial sinuses, an increased number of hemocytes, thickening and ruptures of the basal laminae, and necrosis of the tubules were observed in the hepatopancreas. The MT measurements showed no significant differences in MT contents between the control group and the group treated with 0.01 mg/L waterborne copper. The maximum MT content was observed at the level of 0.4 mg/L waterborne copper.

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