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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versão impressa ISSN 1519-6984versão On-line ISSN 1678-4375


MORAES, G.; AVILEZ, I. M.  e  HORI, T. S. F.. Comparison between biochemical responses of the teleost pacu and its hybrid Tambacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus xColossoma macropomum) to short term nitrite exposure. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2006, vol.66, n.4, pp.1103-1108. ISSN 1519-6984.

Aquatic environmental factors are very changeable in short periods. Among these factors are pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia and ions. Nitrite, as one ion naturally present in aquatic systems, deserves particular consideration as it is highly toxic for many species. Among fish, nitrite may have harmful effects, such as methemoglobin (MtHb) formation, disruption to the gill and hepatic structure, which could result in hemolytic anemia and cell hypoxia by reducing the functional hemoglobin content. In this work, we compared hematological and metabolical responses of pacu and its hybrid tambacu exposed to 20 ppm of environmental nitrite. It was observed that the MtHb content was less than 18% in tambacu while pacu reached nearly 8%. These data reflect specific differences in nitrite uptake by the gill. The hematocrit of both fish was distinct; pacu did not have a typical response of poisoning by nitrite. This fact shows less skill of the hybrid to cope with environmental nitrite. Incipient hemolytic anemia was observed in pacu and both species presented a neoglycogenic profile. The glucose-provider character of the liver was more evident in tambacu. The white muscle of both species presented distinct metabolic behavior. While in pacu the white muscle was predominantly oxidative, in tambaqui the lactic fermentation was the most important metabolic profile. Metabolic and hematological observations in both species show that they present distinct metabolical strategies to cope with toxic effects of nitrite and there is no evidence that the hybrid is more resistant to nitrite.

Palavras-chave : nitrite; metabolism; fish; adaptation; pacu; tambaqui.

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