Environmental levels of sediment-associated tri-n-butyltin chloride (TBTCl) and ionic regulation in flounders during seawater adaptation
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The effects of exposure to sediment-associated tri-n-butyltin chloride (TBTCl) were examined in the euryhaline European flounder, Platichthys flesus (L.). The effects were quantified by measuring the changes in sodium efflux; Na+/K+-ATPase activity; and the numbers, areas, and distribution of chloride cells in the gills of freshwater-adapted fish, following a rapid transfer to seawater. Following the transfer to seawater, the Na+/K+-ATPase activity and the sodium efflux were significantly increased in the control group but remained unchanged in the TBTCl-exposed group. The normal morphological changes to the gill epithelium associated with seawater adaptation, which involve chloride cell distribution, took place in the control group but were significantly inhibited or delayed in the TBTCl group. The results presented in this study lead to the conclusion that environmental concentrations of tri-n-butyltin chloride in sediments are capable of significantly disrupting both the physiological and the morphological components of iono-regulatory functions of an estuarine flatfish.
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