Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 841–852 | Cite as

Acute exposure to copper induces variable intensity of oxidative stress in goldfish tissues

  • Viktor V. Husak
  • Nadia M. Mosiichuk
  • Olga I. Kubrak
  • Tetiana M. Matviishyn
  • Janet M. Storey
  • Kenneth B. Storey
  • Volodymyr I. LushchakEmail author


Copper is an essential element, but at high concentrations, it is toxic for living organisms. The present study investigated the responses of goldfish, Carassius auratus, to 96 h exposure to 30, 300, or 700 μg L−1 of copper II chloride (Cu2+). The content of protein carbonyls was higher in kidney (by 158%) after exposure to 700 mg L−1 copper, whereas in gills, liver, and brain, we observed lower content of protein carbonyls after exposure to copper compared with control values. Exposure to copper resulted in increased levels of lipid peroxides in gills (76%) and liver (95–110%) after exposure to 300 and 700 μg L−1 Cu2+. Low molecular mass thiols were depleted by 23–40% in liver and by 29–67% in kidney in response to copper treatment and can be used as biomarkers toxicity of copper. The activities of primary antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase, were increased in liver as a result of Cu2+ exposure, whereas in kidney catalase activity was decreased. The activities of glutathione-related enzymes, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glutathione reductase were decreased as a result of copper exposure, but glutathione reductase activity increased by 25–40% in liver. Taken together, these data show that exposure of fish to Cu2+ ions results in the development of low/high intensity oxidative stress reflected in enhanced activities of antioxidant and associated enzymes in different goldfish tissues.


Antioxidant enzymes Metals Oxidative stress markers Oxidative stress Acute toxicity 



carbonyl protein groups


glutathione peroxidase


glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase


glutathione reductase




high molecular mass thiols


lipid peroxidation


low molecular mass thiols


reactive oxygen species


superoxide dismutase



The authors are thankful to I.V. Maksymiv for the technical assistance during experiments.


The research received partial support from a discovery grant (#6793) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to KBS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktor V. Husak
    • 1
  • Nadia M. Mosiichuk
    • 1
  • Olga I. Kubrak
    • 1
  • Tetiana M. Matviishyn
    • 1
  • Janet M. Storey
    • 2
  • Kenneth B. Storey
    • 2
  • Volodymyr I. Lushchak
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and BiotechnologyVasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National UniversityIvano-FrankivskUkraine
  2. 2.Institute of BiochemistryCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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