Effects of dietary N-acetylcysteine on the oxidative stress induced in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to a microcystin-producing cyanobacterial water bloom.Environ Toxicol Chem. 2009 Aug; 28(8):1679-86.ET
Fish can be exposed to toxic cyanobacterial cells in natural waters and fish farms and suffer from oxidative damage. The present study investigates the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutathione (GSH) precursor, on the oxidative stress induced by Microcystis cyanobacterial cells containing microcystins (MCs) in tilapia fish (Oreochromis niloticus). Variation in lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels, carbonyl group content, reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione ratio (GSH:GSSG), and catalase (Enzyme Commission [EC] 126.96.36.199), superoxide dismutase (SOD; EC 188.8.131.52), glutathione reductase (GR; EC 184.108.40.206), glutathione peroxidase (GPx; EC 220.127.116.11), and glutathione S-transferase (EC 18.104.22.168) activities in liver and kidney of tilapia exposed to a single oral dose of 120 microg MC-LR (with leucine [L] and arginine [R])/fish and killed in 24 h were investigated in the absence and presence of 20.0, 44.0, and 96.8 mg NAC/fish/d. Results showed a protective role of NAC, depending on the dose and the biomarker considered. The increase in LPO (1.9- and 1.4-fold in liver and kidney, respectively) and the decreased protein content and GSH: GSSG in the liver induced by MCs were recovered mainly by the lower doses of NAC employed. Antioxidant enzyme activities increased (range, 1.4- to 1.7-fold) by MCs also were ameliorated by NAC, although the highest level used induced significant alteration of some enzymatic activities, such as SOD, GPx, and GR. Thus, NAC can be considered to be a useful chemoprotectant that reduces hepatic and renal oxidative stress in the prophylaxis and treatment of MC-related intoxications in fish when careful attention is given to its application dose because of its own pro-oxidant activity, as shown in the present study at 96.8 mg NAC/fish/d.