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Chemosphere. 2011 Jan;82(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.10.008. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Decontamination trends in the aquacultured fish gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) after feeding long-term a PCDD/F spiked feed.

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Environmental Chemistry Department, IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain.


Aquacultured fish gilthead seabream (Sparusaurata), previously exposed to low levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) trough the diet for a 13 months period, were fed on a clean feed for another 22 months. Gilthead seabream is a protandrous hermaphrodite species and this "decontamination" period coincided with the stages of sex differentiation, maturity and reproduction of the fish. PCDD/F levels in the fish tissues (i.e. muscle, liver, perivisceral fat and gonads), expressed in pg WHO-TEQg⁻¹ fresh weight, showed a general decreasing trend during the "decontamination" period. However, this general trend varied among tissues and was also dependent on sex and lipid contents. Toxicological effects affecting fish behaviour and hepatic marker responses were also evaluated. The results pointed out that exposure to PCDD/Fs did not have an impact on fish development and reproduction, since the proportion of sexes found after the sex reversal process was within the normal range described for this species. In addition, long-term exposure to low PCDD/F levels did not significantly affect the response of most of the biochemical markers considered. On the contrary, some of them (e.g. EROD activity) showed variations in their responses during the sex differentiation process and onwards. Finally, the hepatic AhR mRNA levels increased during dioxin exposure but they returned to values typical for non-exposed fish after the "decontamination" period.

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