Histopatological alterations and oxidative stress in liver and kidney of Leuciscus cephalus following exposure to heavy metals in the Tur River, North Western Romania

Anca Hermenean, Georgiana Damache, Paul Albu, Aurel Ardelean, Gavril Ardelean, Doru Puiu Ardelean, Monica Horge, Tibor Nagy, Mihály Braun, Miklós Zsuga, Sándor Kéki, Marieta Costache, Anca Dinischiotu

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Pollution of the aquatic environment by heavy metals is a great concern worldwide. Freshwater fish ingests various metals through gills, skin or diet. Our aim was to investigate the oxidative stress and histopathological injuries induced by Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd in the liver and kidney of Leuciscus cephalus. Fish samples were collected from two sites in the Tur River, NW Romania, in upstream and downstream of a pollution source. Metals were differently distributed in the liver and kidney of fish. The highest concentrations of Fe, Cu and Pb were found in liver, whereas Zn and Cd concentrations were the highest in kidney in specimens collected from the downstream site. The histopathological changes were associated with metal bioaccumulation, being more severe in kidney than liver. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) increased significantly in the liver and kidney of fish from downstream site compared to upstream one, whereas reduced glutathione (GSH) decreased. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) increased significantly in livers, whereas SOD increased in kidney. Our study revealed that liver has a higher capacity and adaptability to counteract ROS compared to kidney. The more pronounced increase of hepatic SOD, CAT and GST activities is related milder structural changes observed in liver compared to kidney, where lesions were not reduced by antioxidant defense system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Eavy metals bioaccumulation
  • Istopathology
  • Leuciscus cephalus
  • Liver and kidney
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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