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Biotransformation, antioxidant and histopathological biomarker responses to contaminants in European and American yellow eels from the Gironde and St. Lawrence estuaries.

Chemosphere; 188: 292-303, 2017 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28888117
Since the early 1980s, populations of American (Anguilla rostrata) and European eels (Anguilla anguilla) have suffered a sharp decline. The causes of their decline are likely multifactorial and include chemical pollution. A field study was conducted in eight sites varying in organic and metal contamination along the St. Lawrence (Eastern Canada) and Gironde (France) systems to investigate the relationships among contaminants, biological characteristics and biotransformation, antioxidant and histopathological biomarkers in eels from both species. For A. rostrata, no major influences of persistent organic contaminants on biomarkers were identified. For A. anguilla, eels from the most contaminated site expressed higher surface of MelanoMacrophage Centers (MMCs) and eels from another contaminated site expressed higher amount of spleen lipofuscin pigment. These two histopathological biomarkers were also associated with aging. Compared to eels from the cleanest French site, higher hepatic catalase activity and density of MMC in eels from contaminated sites was related to higher concentration of organic (DDT and metabolites, sum of PCBs, sum of PBDEs) and inorganic (Hg and Cd) contaminants. In both species, a higher deposition of spleen hemosiderin pigment was measured in eels from the most brackish sites compared to eels living in freshwater environments. Our results suggest an association between higher hemosiderin pigment and metal contamination (As for A. anguilla and Pb for A. rostrata). Parasitism by A. crassus was observed in European eels from freshwater sites but not in eels from brackish habitats. Overall, contamination may pose a greater risk for the health of European compared to American eels.