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Analysis of Arsenic Bioaccumulation in Different Organs of the Nutritionally Important Catfish, Clarias batrachus (L.) Exposed to the Trivalent Arsenic Salt, Sodium Arsenite


Pattern of arsenic bioaccumulation in six organ systems (blood, brain, gills, liver, muscles and skin) of Clarias batrachus was analysed following exposure to sublethal (1 mg L−1; 5 % of 96 h LC50 value) concentration of sodium arsenite. After 60 days of treatment the liver accumulated highest concentration (9.711 ± 0.138 μg g−1 dry wt of tissue.) of arsenic followed by gills (6.156 ± 0.154) > blood (6.070 ± 0.043) > muscles (5.756 ± 0.123) > skin (5.606 ± 0.140) > brain (2.350 ± 0.205). The bioaccumulations of arsenic in all the tissues were time dependant and increased with exposure period. Although the exposed fish loaded with arsenic did not die after prolonged treatment (60 days), the amount of arsenic accumulated made them unsuitable for human consumption. Due to depletion of the proteineous components of their muscles, the body mass of the exposed fish decreased without corresponding decrease in their length. This made the fish lean and thin. These proteineous moieties of the muscles and other tissue systems of the stressed fish were mobilized for breakdown to generate additional requirement of energy to combat the arsenic toxicity.

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The senior author thanks the University Grant Commission Government of India for providing a Junior Research Fellowship. Thanks are also due to Dr. A. S. K Sinha Professor and Incharge Sophisticated Instruments laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi for providing the Atomic absorption spectrophotometer facilities.

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Correspondence to Randhir Kumar or Tarun Kumar Banerjee.

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Kumar, R., Banerjee, T.K. Analysis of Arsenic Bioaccumulation in Different Organs of the Nutritionally Important Catfish, Clarias batrachus (L.) Exposed to the Trivalent Arsenic Salt, Sodium Arsenite. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 445–449 (2012).

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  • Arsenic bioaccumulation
  • Clarias batrachus
  • Sodium arsenite
  • Toxicity