Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Aquat Toxicol. 2006 May 1;77(2):229-38. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

The effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the immune system of fish: a review.

Author information

Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine, UMR CNRS 5553, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are an important class of environmental pollutants that are known to be carcinogenic and immunotoxic. This review summarizes the diverse literature on the effects of these pollutants on innate and acquired immunity in fish and the mechanism of PAH-induced immunotoxicity. Among innate immune parameters, many authors have focused on macrophage activities in fish exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Macrophage respiratory burst appears especially sensitive to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Among acquired immune parameters, lymphocyte proliferation appears highly sensitive to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure. However, the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on both specific and non-specific immunity are contradictory and depend on the mode of exposure, the dose used or the species studied. In contrast to mammals, fewer studies have been done in fish to determine the mechanism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced toxicity. This phenomenon seems to implicate different intracellular mechanisms such as metabolism by cytochrome P4501A, binding to the Ah-receptor, or increased intracellular calcium. Advances in basic knowledge of fish immunity should lead to improvements in monitoring fish health and predicting the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on fish populations, which is a fundamental ecotoxicological goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center