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Bioindicator organisms are important tools in environmental monitoring studies. Understanding this, the overall goal of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity and viability of the native fish species Banded tetra, (Astyanax aeneus; Günther, 1860), widely spread in the aquatic ecosystems of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, as a bioindicator organism. In order to do this, we performed a bioassay at sublethal concentrations using copper (CuSO) to experimentally evaluate and validate the relationship between the trace metals and oxidative stress biomarkers response [(catalase (CAT), lipoperoxidation content (LPO)], detoxification [(glutathione S-transferase (GST), metallothionein content (MT)] and neurotoxicity (AChE) in muscle of A. aeneus. Results showed changes in biomarkers after 96 h: Catalase activity (CAT) was significantly higher above 1.5 and 2 mg/L (154.35 and 172.50% increase, respectively); lipid peroxidation contents (TBARS), GST activity, and MT content were very similar to CAT activity at 1.5 and 2 mg/L of Cu. In terms of neurotoxicity, AChE activity was significantly inhibited at 0.1 mg/L (64%; p < 0.001) and 0.5 mg/L (44%; p < 0.001) of Cu. Based on the bioassay results, we performed a trace metal monitoring campaign in muscle of A. aeneus caught in 15 sites with different anthropogenic activities, during the summer of 2017, to establish a baseline of trace metals pollution in the state of Campeche. A. aeneus showed the highest trace metal accumulation in the following order: Al > Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > Hg > Cr > Pb > Cd > V > As, while sites were arrange as follows: Xnoha lagoon > Palizada River > Candelaria River > Ululmal > Maravillas > López Mateos. PCA showed a cluster between biomarkers (GST, CAT, TBARS, and MT) and concentration of metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Zn, Hg and Cr). Conversely, AChE inhibition was not related to a specific metal, but highest inhibitions (>50%) were present in those sites with intensive agricultural practices. These results determined that, based on its physiological response and trace metal bioaccumulation, Astyanax aeneus can be considered a good bioindicator for evaluating the presence of trace metals in tropical aquatic systems of the Yucatan Peninsula.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
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