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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2008 Mar;34(1):61-9. doi: 10.1007/s10695-007-9147-4. Epub 2007 Jul 24.

Bioaccumulation of cadmium and its biochemical effect on selected tissues of the catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

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Department of Biochemistry, Delta State University, PMB 1, Abraka, Nigeria.


The present study examines the pattern of accumulation of cadmium (Cd) and its biochemical effects on selected tissues of a variety of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), after exposure to various doses of Cd. The results obtained indicate that at the end of 21 days of exposure, the total tissue organ cadmium concentration followed the pattern kidney > gill > liver > muscle for each of the exposure concentrations. The levels of Cd in these organs were higher than those in ambient water. Moreover, while the rate of uptake of Cd increased with time in the kidney, liver and muscle, it decreased in the gill. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) was significantly elevated only in the kidney of catfish treated with 0.2 and 0.4 ppm of Cd for 7 days compared with the control. Conversely, gill SOD was significantly decreased in the same concentrations of Cd-treated catfish relative to the control. Statistically similar levels of SOD were observed in the liver, brain and muscle with all the treatments after the same duration of treatment. In the fish exposed for 21 days, SOD activity was significantly decreased in the kidney with a corresponding increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO), but it manifested only with the 0.2- and 0.4-ppm Cd treatment relative to the control. In the liver, however, Cd exposure significantly increased SOD in the 0.2- and 0.4-ppm treatments of the same duration. In conclusion, the present study indicates that the accumulation of Cd and its effect on SOD and LPO in C. gariepinus is dependent on concentration, tissue and time.

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