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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-6984versión On-line ISSN 1678-4375


MAZON, A. F.; MONTEIRO, E. A. S.; PINHEIRO, G. H. D.  y  FERNADEZ, M. N.. Hematological and physiological changes induced by short-term exposure to copper in the freshwater fish, Prochilodus scrofa. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2002, vol.62, n.4a, pp.621-631. ISSN 1519-6984.

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 mgCu L-1 in water (pH 7.5; hardness 24.5 mg L-1 as CaCO3) for 96 h. Copper exposure to 25 and 29 mgCu 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 mgCu L-1. Leukocytes increased following copper exposure and were significantly higher in fish exposed to 29 mgCu L-1. Differential leukocyte percentage displayed significant reduction in lymphocytes and an increase in neutrophils in fish exposed to 25 and 29 mgCu 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 mgCu L-1 while [K+] showed significant increase in fish exposed to 29 mgCu 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.

Palabras clave : copper; hematological parameters; plasma ions; gill histopathology; Prochilodus scrofa.

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