, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1012–1018 | Cite as

Modulation of ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase and glutathione S-transferase activities in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons containing two to four rings: implications in biomonitoring aquatic pollution

  • Asoka Pathiratne
  • Chamini K. Hemachandra


Despite ubiquity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the tropical environments, little information is available concerning responses of tropical fish to PAHs and associated toxicity. In the present study, effects of five PAHs containing two to four aromatic rings on hepatic CYP1A dependent ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and serum sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) activities in Nile tilapia, a potential fish species for biomonitoring pollution in tropical waters, were evaluated. Results showed that EROD activities were induced by the PAHs containing four aromatic rings (pyrene and chrysene) in a dose dependent manner. However PAHs with two to three aromatic rings (naphthalene, phenanthrene and fluoranthene) caused no effect or inhibition of EROD activities depending on the dose and the duration. Fluoranthene was the most potent inhibitor. SDH results demonstrated that high doses of fluoranthene induced hepatic damage. GST activity was induced by the lowest dose of phenanthrene, fluoranthene and chrysene but high doses had no effect. The results indicate that induction of EROD enzyme in Nile tilapia is a useful biomarker of exposure to PAHs such as pyrene and chrysene. However EROD inhibiting PAHs such as fluoranthene in the natural environment may modulate the EROD inducing potential of other PAHs thereby influencing PAH exposure assessments.


Tilapia EROD PAH Biomarker GST 



This study was financially supported by a research grant from National Research Council of Sri Lanka (Grant number 05-24). The second author was financially supported by National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (Grant number RG/2006/EB/07) in the form of a research assistantship.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of KelaniyaKelaniyaSri Lanka

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