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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2009 Apr;128(1):72-81. doi: 10.1007/s12011-008-8255-z. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Involvement of cd bioaccumulation in spinal deformities occurrence in natural populations of Mediterranean killifish.

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UR 09/30: Génétique, Biodiversité et Valorisation des Bioressources, Institut de Biotechnologie, Université de Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.


The aim of this study was to investigate the possible influence of environmental exposure to cadmium (Cd) on the spinal deformities occurrence in the Mediterranean killifish, Aphanius fasciatus (Pisces: Cyprinodontidae). For this purpose, some indicators of skeletal bone mineralization, Cd, and calcium (Ca) concentrations in spinal column as well as bioaccumulation of Cd from the water and the sediment have been compared in normal and deformed fish collected from polluted (S1) and nonpolluted (S2) areas in the Gulf of Gabès in Tunisia. When compared to the normal fish, the deformed fish showed signs of spinal column demineralization such as significant decrease in the ash weight/dry weight ratio, percentage of nonorganic components content, and Ca concentration. Cd concentrations in spinal column and liver were significantly higher in deformed fish than in normal fish. A highly significant negative correlation (r = -0.915, p < 0.01) between Cd and Ca concentrations was noted in spinal column of deformed fish. Bioaccumulation factors of Cd in the liver from the water and the sediment in deformed fish were also significantly higher (p < 0.0001) than in normal fish from S1 and S2. These findings suggest that the ability to accumulate large amount of Cd may represent a potential risk to induce spinal deformities in natural populations of Mediterranean killifish.

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