The effect of pesticides on carp (Cyprinus carpio L). Acetylcholinesterase and its biochemical characterization

A. Szabó, J. Nemcsók, B. Asztalos, Z. Rakonczay, P. Kása, Le Huu Hieu

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The activity and molecular forms of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were characterized in tissues of the carp (Cyprinus carpio). Tissue AChE activity was determined in response to specific inhibitors (ethopropazine, BW 284 C51) or pesticides (CuSO4, paraquat (PQ), methidathion (MD)). The highest AChE activity was found in the serum (878 ± 100 U/liter), followed by the brain (113 ± 12 U/liter), heart (89 ± 6 U/liter), and trunk muscle (35 ± 5 U/liter). Experiments with specific choline esterase inhibitors revealed a very low amount of pseudocholinesterase in all tissues studied. The ratio of the membrane-bound to the cytoplasmic-free AChE molecular forms was increased in the order of brain, trunk muscle, and heart. In sera of fish treated with MD (2 ppm) there was an 80% inhibition of AChE lasting for 2 weeks. Treatment with CuSO4 or PQ (both 5 ppm) led to a 50% decrease in the serum AChE activity followed by a transient increase over the control level. After 2 weeks of chronic treatment, AChE activity in fish exposed to CuSO4 returned to the control level, whereas in fish treated with PQ an elevated level (130% when compared to the control level) of enzyme activity was found. Our present experimental data indicate that pesticides occurring in natural waters not only inhibit AChE activity in fish but may influence the resynthesis of the enzyme as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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