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  • PAHs and fish – Exposure monitoring and adverse effects – from molecular to individual level
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EROD activity and antioxidant defenses of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) after an in vivo chronic hydrocarbon pollution followed by a post-exposure period

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Chronic concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been commonly detected in international estuaries ecosystems. Reliable indicators still need to be found in order to properly assess the impact of PAHs in fish. After an in vivo chronic exposure to hydrocarbons, the enzymatic activity of 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and the antioxidant defense system were assessed in sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax. A total of 45 fish were exposed to the water-soluble fraction of Arabian crude oil, similar to a complex pollution by hydrocarbons chronically observed in situ, while 45 other control fish sustained the same experimental conditions in clean seawater. Fish samples were made after a 21-day exposure period and after a 15-day recovery period in clean fresh water. Throughout the experiment, liver EROD activity was significantly higher in contaminated fish than in control fish. In addition, nonenzymatic (total glutathione) and enzymatic (GPx, SOD, and CAT) antioxidant defense parameters measured in liver were not significantly different in fish. Furthermore, in gills, glutathione content had significantly increased while SOD activity had significantly decreased in contaminated fish compared to controls. On the other hand, CAT and GPx activities were not affected. Chronic exposure to PAHs disturbing the first step (SOD) and inhibiting the second step (GPx and CAT) could induce oxidative stress in tissues by the formation of oxygen radicals. After the postexposure period, there was no significant difference between control and contaminated fish in any of the antioxidant defense parameters measured in gills, attesting to the reversibility of the effects.

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This study was supported by a PhD grant from ANSES (French agency for food, environmental, and occupational health and safety) and the County Council of the region of Brittany. The authors thank Sally Ferguson (Alba Traduction) for proofreading this document.

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Correspondence to Morgane Danion.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Danion, M., Floch, S.L., Lamour, F. et al. EROD activity and antioxidant defenses of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) after an in vivo chronic hydrocarbon pollution followed by a post-exposure period. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 13769–13778 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2720-3

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  • Dicentrarchus labrax L
  • PAHs
  • EROD
  • Glutathione
  • SOD
  • CAT
  • GPx