Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) were collected to quantify the nature and prevalence of biomarker responses, including biochemical indices, toxicopathic lesions and general health indices, among fish collected from polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated and nearby uncontaminated reaches of the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, USA. Blood and tissue samples (gill, liver, spleen, head kidney, trunk kidney, thyroid and gonads) were collected and preserved at necropsy for biochemical and histological analyses. The body condition factor and liver somatic index were significantly lower in fish collected from the downstream, contaminated site. Plasma vitellogenin was not detected in male fish collected from either site. Liver ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity and liver and spleen superoxide dismutase activity were significantly depressed in fish collected from the downstream site. Significant toxicopathic lesions such as glycogen depletion, enhanced macrophage aggregates, hepatic foci of cellular alteration (i.e. preneoplastic lesions) and neoplasia were also detected in the liver of fish collected from the downstream site. This study indicates that many of the biochemical and histopathological biomarker responses were associated with liver and body tissue PCB concentrations. Taken together, the biomarkers of exposure and effect strongly suggest that fish within the downstream site are adversely affected by PCBs and other chemical stressors.
- Smallmouth bass
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