, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 241–249 | Cite as

The bioaccumulation of waterborne zinc in tissues of silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) and its effect on biochemical parameters

  • Jossiele Leitemperger
  • Charlene Menezes
  • Vitor Antunes de Oliveira
  • Tiago Fiuza
  • Indianara Fernanda Barcarolli
  • Maria Ester Pereira
  • Adalto Bianchini
  • Vania Lucia LoroEmail author


Silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) is a fish species with neotropical distribution, and is a potential model organism to study polluted environment. The aim of this study is to analyze the response of silver catfish to environmental concentrations of waterborne zinc (Zn) over 96 h. Significant metal accumulation was seen in gill, intestine and liver tissues. No significant accumulation was seen in muscle tissue. Lipid peroxidation increased in the brain, and decreased in the muscle and liver at all levels of exposure. Zinc exposure led to decreased protein carbonyl levels in the brain and increased levels in the liver. The activity of catalase in the liver was reduced for all exposed groups. Glutathione S-transferase activity decreased in the brain at the highest level of exposure and in the liver at all Zn concentrations tested. Non-protein thiols increased in the muscle and in the gills after exposure. Ascorbic acid levels increased in the brain and in the gills. Exposure to Zn also altered the metabolic parameters, causing decreased lactate and ammonia levels in the muscle, and decreased glycogen in the liver. Zinc exposure increased ammonia and amino acid levels in the liver, and increase glycogen and amino acid levels in muscle tissue. Our results demonstrate that exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of Zn led to accumulation of metals in the tissues of silver catfish, with significant changes in biochemical parameters.


Aquatic contamination Environmental concentrations Fish Metal 



This study was supported in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) – Programa PROEX Protocol Number: 23038.005848/2018-31. Student Jossiele Leitemperger received fellowship from CAPES under Protocol Number 88882.182137/2018-01 and student Tiago Fiuza received fellowship from CAPES under Protocol Number 88882.182157/2018-01. Vania Lucia Loro received research fellowship from CNPq under Process Number: 309314/2017-8.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jossiele Leitemperger
    • 1
  • Charlene Menezes
    • 2
  • Vitor Antunes de Oliveira
    • 3
  • Tiago Fiuza
    • 1
  • Indianara Fernanda Barcarolli
    • 4
  • Maria Ester Pereira
    • 1
    • 5
  • Adalto Bianchini
    • 4
  • Vania Lucia Loro
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Bioquímica ToxicológicaUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM)Santa MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Departamento de Farmácia IndustrialUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM)Santa MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Desenvolvimento Educacional do Alto Uruguai – Faculdade IDEAUPasso FundoBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Rio Grande (FURG)Rio GrandeBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia MolecularUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil

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