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Evidence of contamination by oil and oil products in the Santos-São Vicente estuary, São Paulo, Brazil

Juliana Souza Azevedo Belisandra Lopes Alberto Katsumiti Elisabete Santis Braga Helené Roche Ciro Alberto Oliveira Ribeiro Maria João Bebianno About the authors


Different components of the mixed function oxidase (MFO) system and the levels of fluorescent aromatic compounds in bile (FACs) were measured in Cathorops spixii in order to assess the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Fish were sampled in an estuary (Santos/São Vicente) with a history of contamination by PAHs, mainly due to the presence of the industrial complex of Cubatão city and of another of low anthropogenic influence (Cananéia) on the Brazilian coast. FACs were higher in fish from the polluted site, and the PAH 5 and 6-ring metabolites were the most frequent - with 14% and 15%, respectively. Levels of the different components of the MFO system showed the same variation profile as the FACs for both estuaries. Therefore, the values found for somatic indexes and biomarkers with data of bile PAH metabolites indicate the presence of organic contaminants, especially in the area subject to the influence of the industrial complex on the Santos/São Vicente estuary.

Fluorescent aromatic compounds; Cytochrome P450; MFO system; Cathorops spixii; Brazilian coast

Diferentes componentes do sistema oxidase de função mista (MFO) e os níveis de compostos aromáticos fluorescentes em bile (FACS) foram determinados em Cathorops spixii a fim de avaliar o impacto de hidrocarbonetos policíclicos aromáticos (PAHs). Os peixes foram coletados em um estuário com histórico de contaminação por PAHs (Santos/São Vicente), devido principalmente a presença do complexo industrial na cidade de Cubatão e em outro com baixa influência antropogênica (Cananéia) na costa brasileira. FACs foram maiores nos peixes oriundos da área contaminada, sendo os metabolitos de HPAs com 5 e 6 anéis, os mais representativos com 14% e 15%, respectivamente. Os níveis dos diferentes componentes do sistema MFO mostraram o mesmo perfil de variação que os FACs em ambos os estuários. Portanto, os valores encontrados para os índices somáticos e os biomarcadores considerados, em associação com os dados de metabólitos biliares de PAHs, indicam a presença de contaminantes orgânicos, principalmente na área sob influência do complexo industrial no estuário de Santos/São Vicente.

Compostos aromáticos fluorescentes; Citocromo P450; sistema MFO; Cathorops spixii; Costa brasileira

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    18 July 2012
  • Date of issue
    June 2012


  • Received
    11 Jan 2011
  • Accepted
    20 Nov 2011
  • Reviewed
    13 July 2011
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