Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 67–74 | Cite as

The effects of short-term acute cadmium exposure on blue tilapia,Oreochromis aureus

  • Patrick T. K. Woo
  • Yoke M. Sin
  • Ming K. Wong
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Disease-free blue tilapia,Oreochromis aureus, exposed to cadmium (0.5 ppm and 10 ppm) showed very significant and dramatic decrease in food consumptions. Food consumptions returned to near normal 21 days after fish were returned to cadmium-free water. Along with anorexia there were decreases in body weights during the period when fish were exposed to cadmium. Fish in cadmium-free water that were pair-fed to cadmium-exposed fish (0.5 ppm) did not gain weight but there were no decreases in body weights. Cadmium was still in tissues 34 days after the fish were placed in cadmium-free water and the accumulation was highest in the kidney; this was followed by liver, brain, gill filaments and muscles. The accumulations of the heavy metal (in kidneys and gills) were significantly higher in fish exposed to high than low cadmium levels. There were no differences in complement levels (haemolytic acitivity) in cadmium-exposed and cadmium-free fish. However, cadmium-exposed fish did not produce detectable haemagglutinating antibodies against sheep red blood cells while cadmium-free fish responded well to the antigen. The anorexia in cadmium-exposed fish contributed to the depression in antibody production.

Key words

Food consumption Weight Anorexia Complement Sheep red blood cells Haemagglutinating antibodies Immunodepression 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick T. K. Woo
    • 1
  • Yoke M. Sin
    • 1
  • Ming K. Wong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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