Biomarkers of waterborne copper exposure in the guppy Poecilia vivipara acclimated to salt water
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The responses of a large suite of biochemical and genetic parameters were evaluated in tissues (liver, gills, muscle and erythrocytes) of the estuarine guppy Poecilia vivipara exposed to waterborne copper in salt water (salinity 24 ppt). Activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase), metallothionein-like protein concentration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, antioxidant capacity against peroxyl radicals (ACAP), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were evaluated in liver, gills, and muscle. Comet assay score and nuclear abnormalities and micronucleated cell frequency were analyzed in peripheral erythrocytes. The responses of these parameters were evaluated in fish exposed (96 h) to environmentally relevant copper concentrations (5, 9 and 20 μg L⁻¹). In control and copper-exposed fish, no mortality was observed over the experimental period. Almost all biochemical and genetic parameters proved to be affected by waterborne copper exposure. However, the response of catalase activity in liver, ROS, ACAP and LPO in muscle, gills and liver, and DNA damages in erythrocytes clearly showed to be dependent on copper concentration in salt water. Therefore, the use of these parameters could be of relevance in the scope of biomonitoring programs in salt water environments contaminated with copper.