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Hematological and physiological changes induced by short-term exposure to copper in the freshwater fish, Prochilodus scrofa

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Author(s): MAZON A. F. | MONTEIRO E. A. S. | PINHEIRO G. H. D. | FERNADEZ M. N.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 62;
Issue: 4a;
Start page: 621;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: copper | hematological parameters | plasma ions | gill histopathology | Prochilodus scrofa

ABSTRACT
Hematological and physiological changes in the blood of juveniles of the freshwater fish, Prochilodus scrofa were determined after acute exposure to 20, 25, and 29 mugCu L-1 in water (pH 7.5; hardness 24.5 mg L-1 as CaCO3) for 96 h. Copper exposure to 25 and 29 mugCu L-1 caused significant increase in the hematocrit and red blood cell values. The increase in red blood cells was associated with increase in whole blood hemoglobin only in fish exposed to 29 mugCu L-1. Leukocytes increased following copper exposure and were significantly higher in fish exposed to 29 mugCu L-1. Differential leukocyte percentage displayed significant reduction in lymphocytes and an increase in neutrophils in fish exposed to 25 and 29 mugCu L-1. The percentage of monocytes remained unchanged after copper exposure. The thrombocytes did not change. There was a significant decrease in plasma [Na+] and [Cl-] and a significant drop in blood pH in fish exposed to 25 and 29 mugCu L-1 while [K+] showed significant increase in fish exposed to 29 mugCu L-1. Copper exposure led to ionoregulatory impairment, although chloride cell hypertrophy was induced. The changes in red blood cells suggest a compensatory response to respiratory surface reduction of gills (tissue damage and cell proliferation) in order to maintain oxygen transference from water to the tissues, allowing the fish to survive during the so-called shock phase of LC50 exposure, at least while at rest.
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