Estimation of DNA Integrity in Blood Cells of Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) Inhabiting an Aluminium-Polluted Water Environment: an Alkaline Comet Assay Study

  • Ivančica Ternjej
  • Zlatko Mihaljević
  • Igor Stanković
  • Mladen Kerovec
  • Laszlo Sipos
  • Davor Želježić
  • Nevenka Kopjar


To estimate the impacts of an Al-contaminated aquatic environment on DNA integrity in the blood cells of eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki Girard 1859 inhabiting Lake Njivice (Island of Krk, Croatia), an evaluation using the alkaline comet assay was carried out. Genome integrity was studied in parallel with the same fish species inhabiting the nearby, unpolluted Lake Ponikve. The amount of DNA damage in cells was estimated from three different parameters: comet tail length as the extent of genetic material migration, tail intensity (% DNA in the comet tail) and tail moment. The results indicate the loss of genome integrity in blood cells of mosquitofish inhabiting Lake Njivice and the genotoxicity of this aquatic environment. Using the same assay, acute genotoxicity of contaminated water and sediment was evaluated and confirmed on fish, mouse and human blood cells treated ex vivo. Results of the present study indicate that the alkaline comet assay applied to fish blood cells is a valuable tool for determining the potential genotoxicity of water pollutants and confirm its usefulness in the evaluation of DNA damage in fish living in Al-polluted waters.


Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Comet Assay Tail Moment Water Treatment Process Alkaline Comet Assay 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This investigation was supported by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (grant nos. 119-1193080-3076 and 022-0222148-2137).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivančica Ternjej
    • 1
  • Zlatko Mihaljević
    • 1
  • Igor Stanković
    • 2
  • Mladen Kerovec
    • 1
  • Laszlo Sipos
    • 3
  • Davor Želježić
    • 4
  • Nevenka Kopjar
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Hrvatske vodeCentral Water Management LaboratoryZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Mutagenesis UnitInstitute for Medical Research and Occupational HealthZagrebCroatia

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