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Histopathological effects of short-term aqueous exposure to environmentally relevant concentration of lead (Pb) in shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) under laboratory conditions


Jantawongsri, K and Norregaard, RD and Bach, L and Dietz, R and Sonne, C and Jorgensen, K and Lierhagen, S and Ciesielski, TM and Jenssen, BM and Haddy, J and Eriksen, R and Nowak, B, Histopathological effects of short-term aqueous exposure to environmentally relevant concentration of lead (Pb) in shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) under laboratory conditions, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28, (43) pp. 61423-61440. ISSN 0944-1344 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11356-021-14972-6


Shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) has been used as a sentinel species for environmental monitoring, including heavy metal contamination from mining activities. Former lead–zinc (Pb–Zn) mines in Greenland resulted in elevated concentrations of metals, especially Pb, in marine biota. However, the potential accumulation of Pb and effects of the presence of Pb residues in fish on health of sculpins observed in the field have not been validated in laboratory experiments. Therefore, our aim was to validate field observation of shorthorn sculpin via controlled laboratory exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of dissolved Pb. We evaluated the effects of a short-term (28 days) exposure to Pb on Pb residues in sculpin blood, gills, liver, and muscle and the morphology of gills and liver. The highest level of Pb was found in the gills, followed by muscle and then liver. Pb levels in liver, gills, and blood of Pb-exposed sculpins were significantly higher than those in control fish, showing that blood is suitable for assessing Pb accumulation and exposure in sculpins. Histopathological investigations showed that the severity score of liver necrosis and gill telangiectasia of Pb-exposed sculpins was significantly greater than in control fish. The number of mucous cells in gills was positively correlated with Pb concentrations in organs. Overall, the results validated field observation for the effects of Pb on wild sculpin and contributed to the improved use of the shorthorn sculpin as sentinel species for monitoring contamination from Pb mines in the Arctic.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aqueous Pb exposure, blood Pb concentration, controlled experiment, gill mucous cell, Greenland sculpin, lead–zinc mines
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish pests and diseases
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Jantawongsri, K (Mr Khattapan Jantawongsri)
UTAS Author:Haddy, J (Dr James Haddy)
UTAS Author:Eriksen, R (Dr Ruth Eriksen)
UTAS Author:Nowak, B (Professor Barbara Nowak)
ID Code:146937
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2021-10-04
Last Modified:2021-12-13

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