Metal Accumulation and Ion Regulation in the Fish Hyphessobrycon luetkenii Living in a Site Chronically Contaminated by Copper: Insights from Translocation Experiments Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Fish living in the João Dias creek (southern Brazil) have to deal with trace-metal contamination in the long-term basis, as this aquatic environment has been historically impacted by copper mining activities. In order to survive in this harsh environment, the local biota had to develop adaptations related to pollution tolerance. The aim of this study was to test if biochemical mechanisms related to osmoregulation were among these adaptations, using translocation experiments. Water ionic and trace-metal compositions were measured in a nonmetal impacted site (NMIS) and in a metal impacted site (MIS) of this creek. Also, whole-body metal accumulation, ion concentration and branchial enzyme activity (Na,K-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase) were evaluated in Hyphessobrycon luetkenii. In both NMIS and MIS, fish were collected and immediately stored, kept caged or translocated from sites. The result shows that waterborne Cu was 3.4-fold higher at the MIS. Accordingly, animals that had contact with this site showed elevated whole-body Cu levels. Moreover, both translocated groups showed elevated Na,K-ATPase activity. Additionally, fish translocated from the NMIS to the MIS showed lower carbonic anhydrase activity. These findings indicate that H. luetkenii chronically or acutely exposed to naturally elevated waterborne Cu showed a rapid Cu bioaccumulation but was unable to readily excrete it. Moreover, classic Cu osmoregulatory toxicity related to Na,K-ATPase inhibition was not observed. Conversely, impacts in ammonia excretion related to carbonic anhydrase inhibition may have occurred.


  • Borges, Vinícius Dias
  • Zebral, Yuri Dornelles
  • Costa, Patrícia Gomes
  • da Silva Fonseca, Juliana
  • Klein, Roberta Daniele
  • Bianchini, Adalto

publication date

  • January 2022