Addressing the impact of mercury estuarine contamination in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L., 1758) – An early diagnosis in glass eel stage based on erythrocytic nuclear morphology

D. Castro, C. L. Mieiro*, J. P. Coelho, S. Guilherme, A. Marques, M. A. Santos, A. C. Duarte, E. Pereira, M. Pacheco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The decline of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L., 1758) population throughout Europe has been partially attributed to pollution. As glass eel estuarine migration may represent a considerable threat, the impact of mercury (Hg) contamination at this stage was evaluated through an in situ experiment (7 days). Total Hg (tHg) bioaccumulation was evaluated concomitantly with erythrocytic nuclear morphology alterations: erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities assay (ENA), frequency of immature erythrocytes (IE) and the erythrocytic maturity index (EMI). The ENA results suggested a genotoxic pressure at the most contaminated sites, in line with the tHg increase. The EMI data, together with IE frequency, showed that fish exposed to high levels of Hg exhibited alterations of haematological dynamics, translated into an erythropoiesis increment. Despite the presence of these compensatory mechanisms, the present findings suggest a harmful impact of Hg on genome integrity at this early development stage, potentially affecting eels' condition and ultimately the population sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • European eel
  • Genotoxicity
  • Haematological dynamics
  • Mercury
  • Nuclear morphology

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