Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 149–158 | Cite as

Acid-base, plasma ion and blood gas changes in rainbow trout during short term toxic zinc exposure

  • Douglas J. Spry
  • Chris M. Wood
Article

Summary

  1. 1.

    Rainbow trout exposed to waterborne zinc at an acutely lethal level (1.5 mg/l) or at a lower concentration close to the 4 d LC50 (0.8 mg/l) exhibited contrasting physiological responses in artificial soft water (ASW).

     
  2. 2.

    The changes in acid-base status and other blood parameters during the acute zinc exposure (1.5 mg/l) in ASW resulted from a rapid cascade of events in which hypoxemia, probably due to gill damage, resulted in tissue hypoxia and a mixed acidosis which were rapidly fatal. Changes in Het, MCHC, Cl and lactate reflected the acidosis. Hypoxia rather than acidosis was the primary lethal mechanism.

     
  3. 3.

    Lower level zinc exposure (0.8 mg/l) over a 3 day period resulted in a slight alkalosis, despite a rise in\(P{\text{a}}_{{\text{CO}}_{\text{2}} }\). No changes were observed in plasma concentrations of Na+, Cl or K+, and\(P{\text{a}}_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} }\) remained high. Possible causes for the alkalosis are discussed. Some mortality occurred, suggesting that toxic mechanisms other than hypoxemia may have operated.

     
  4. 4.

    Zinc accumulated in whole blood to a greater extent during the 3 day low level exposure than the short term, high level exposure, suggesting that toxicity in the latter reflected an external effect of zinc. Zinc accumulated only in plasma with no penetration of the RBC's.

     

Keywords

Rainbow Trout Level Exposure Level Zinc Toxic Mechanism High Level Exposure 

Abbreviations

SITS

4-acetamido-4′-iso-thiocyanatostilbene-2,2′ disulphonic acid

Hct

hematocrit

MCHC

mean cell hemoglobin concentration

ASW

artificial soft water

CPr

plasma total protein

Hb

hemoglobin

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas J. Spry
    • 1
  • Chris M. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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