Marine Biology

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 201–208 | Cite as

Uptake, metabolism and discharge of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by marine fish

  • R. F. Lee
  • R. Sauerheber
  • G. H. Dobbs


The uptake, metabolism and discharge of two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, 14C-naphthalene and 3H-3,4-benzopyrene, were studied in 3 species of marine fish (mudsucker or sand goby, Gillichthys mirabilis; sculpin, Oligocottus maculosus; sand dab, Citharichthys stigmaeus). The path of hydrocarbons through the fish included entrance through the gills, metabolism by the liver, transfer of hydrocarbons and their metabolites to the bile, and, finally, excretion. The gall bladder was a major storage site of labeled hydrocarbons and their metabolites. The major product of 2H-3,4-benzypyrene metabolism was tentatively identified as 7,8-dihydro-7,8-dihydroxybenzopyrene. The 14C-naphthalene was metabolized to 1,2-dihydro-1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene after 24 h exposure. The urine appeared to the major avenne for discharge of labeled hydrocarbon from the body. Our laboratory results indicated that certain polycyelic aromatic hydrocarbons were rapidly taken up from seawater by the above fish, but detoxification mechanisms existed for efficient removal of these compounds from their body tissues.


Hydrocarbon Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Gall Efficient Removal Aromatic Hydrocarbon 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Lee
    • 1
  • R. Sauerheber
    • 1
  • G. H. Dobbs
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA

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