- Biomarkers of exposure (liver metallothionein-like proteins content and catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities) and effect (liver lipoperoxidation and blood cell DNA damage) of contaminants were analyzed in the Brazilian flounder Paralichthys orbignyanus from the Patos Lagoon estuary (Southern Brazil). Flounders were collected for a year in two sites: "Coroa do Boi" (polluted site) and "Saco do Justino" (non-polluted site). Results indicated that micronucleated cells frequency was the best biomarker to distinguish flounders from the two sites. Taken together, data from DNA damage analyses (micronucleus test and comet assay) indicated that flounders from the non-polluted site efficiently repaired the DNA breaks, contrary to those from the polluted site, which probably had their DNA repair system inhibited or exhausted. Furthermore, data from enzyme activities (catalase and GST) and lipid peroxidation indicated that flounders from the polluted site were under oxidative stress in summer and autumn.