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Distinctive accumulation patterns of heavy metals in Sardinella aurita (Clupeidae) and Mugil cephalus (Mugilidae) tissues

Annabi, Ali, El Mouadeb, Rahma, Herrel, Anthony
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.3 pp. 2623-2629
Mugil cephalus, Sardinella aurita, cadmium, copper, droplets, fibroblasts, gills, heavy metals, lead, liver, models, muscles, pollution, spine (bones), wild fish, zinc, Tunisia
The present study assessed the impact of metal pollution on two widely consumed types of wild fish Sardinella aurita and Mugil cephalus captured from the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia) which is currently experiencing acute environmental problems. A study of the Cd, Cu, Zn, and Pb levels present in the studied site and vital in fish tissues (gills, liver, gonad, and muscle) was undertaken. As expected, muscle, liver, and gonad tissues contained the highest concentrations of all metals except for Zn. The metal levels showed a significant variation of accumulation between species with overall effects of the tested tissues. In addition, the results address the significant effects of the species/tissue interaction. Liver sections showed structural alterations consisting mainly of a significant desquamation of the tissue, a fibroblast proliferation, and a lipid droplet accumulation in both species. Additionally, the presence of skeletal abnormalities affecting the vertebral column was observed in the M. cephalus specimens. As a whole, our data provide the first evidence of distinctive metal accumulation patterns in vital fish tissues as well as the interspecific difference that can be correlated with the biological habits of the two selected models, S. aurita and M. cephalus, known respectively as pelagic and benthopelagic species.