John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Growth, oxidative stress responses, and gene transcription of juvenile bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) under chronic‐term exposure of ammonia

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Ammonia toxicity has been becoming a universal problem for aquatic animals, especially for fish. The purpose of the present study was to assess the chronic toxicity of ammonia on the juvenile bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis. The authors measured the responses of growth performance (specific growth rate, condition factor, body weight and body length), oxidative stress, and related genes transcription of juvenile bighead carp exposed to solutions with different concentrations of un‐ionized ammonia (UIA) (0, 0.053, 0.106, 0.159, 0.212 mg L−1). Results showed UIA had no effect on the growth performance, glutathione content, and glutathione S‐transferase gene transcription, but significantly elevated superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Meanwhile we found that different concentrations of UIA had different degree damage on juvenile bighead carp: compared with the control, lower UIA level significantly decreased gene transcription of catalase (CAT) and increased the content of malondialdehyde (MDA); higher UIA concentration (0.212 mg L−1) significantly elevated gene transcription of antioxidant enzymes (CAT and SOD) and reduced the content of MDA. Our data clearly demonstrated that lower concentration of UIA chronic exposure can result in some degree impairment of antioxidative function, and higher concentration of UIA chronic exposure can enhance damage to juvenile bighead carp by modulating antioxidant enzyme activities and gene transcription. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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