Inderscience Publishers

Effects of sublethal waterborne cadmium on gills in three teleosteans species: scanning electron microscope study

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The effects of acute exposure for 96 h to a sublethal concentration of cadmium (300 µg L−1) on the surface gill morphology of the teleosteans Cyprinus carpio, Australoheros facetum and Astyanax fasciatus were studied using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The main cadmium-induced gill damages in the three species were: structural alterations, oedema and fusion of adjacent secondary lamellae; there was a remarkable disruption of the gill epithelium in Australoheros facetum and excretion of large amount of mucus on the lamellae in Astyanax fasciatus. The reversibility of the alterations after a depuration period was also investigated; in all cases the fishes exhibited a considerable recovery of the gill structure after 96 h in a cadmium-free medium.

Keywords: cadmium, fish gills, scanning electron microscopy, freshwater teleosteans, Cyprinus carpio, Australoheros facetum, Astyanax fasciatus, freshwater ecotoxicology, water pollution, surface gill morphology, gill damage

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