Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 257–262 | Cite as

Dispersant use as a response to oil spills: toxicological effects on fish cardiac performance

  • Thomas Milinkovitch
  • Hélène Thomas-Guyon
  • Christel Lefrançois
  • Nathalie Imbert


Dispersant use is a controversial technique used to respond to oil spills in nearshore areas. In order to assess the toxicity of this technique, this study evaluated the cardiac toxicological effects on juvenile golden grey mullets Liza aurata exposed for 48 h to either dispersant alone, chemically dispersed oil, mechanically dispersed oil, the water-soluble fraction of oil or a control condition. Following exposure, the positive inotropic effects of adrenaline were assessed in order to evaluate a potential impairment on the cardiac performance. The results revealed an impairment of the positive inotropic effects of adrenaline for all the contaminants (single dispersant, dispersed and undispersed oil, water-soluble fraction of oil). This suggests that: (1) cardiac performance is a valuable parameter to study the physiopathological effects of dispersed oil; (2) dispersant application is likely to impair cardiac performance.


Dispersant Cardiac performance Force of contraction Contraction velocity Heart Liza aurata 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Milinkovitch
    • 1
  • Hélène Thomas-Guyon
    • 1
  • Christel Lefrançois
    • 1
  • Nathalie Imbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Littoral Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs)UMR 7266, CNRS-Université de La RochelleLa Rochelle Cedex 01France

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