In vivo and in vitro exposures for the evaluation of the genotoxic effects of lead on the Neotropical freshwater fish Prochilodus lineatus.Aquat Toxicol. 2011 Aug; 104(3-4):291-8.AT
In the present study, in vivo and in vitro exposures were used to assess the genotoxicity of lead (Pb) to the freshwater fish Prochilodus lineatus. The comet assay using blood, liver and gill cells, and the occurrence of micronuclei (MN) and other erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENA) were used to assess the genotoxic potential of lead in vivo. Metallothionein content (MT) was measured in fish liver in order to evaluate the protection of fish against Pb toxicity. Fish erythrocytes were exposed to Pb in vitro (1, 3 and 6 h) and the number of viable cells, DNA integrity, using the comet assay, and lysosomal membrane stability, measured by the neutral red retention assay (NRRA) were analyzed. The results of the comet assay after in vivo toxicity tests (6, 24 and 96 h) showed that Pb was genotoxic for all the three tissues analyzed after 96 h exposure. A significant increase in liver MT content was observed after 6 and 24 h of Pb exposure. MN frequency did not increase after Pb exposures, but the frequency of the other ENA, such as kidney-shaped nuclei, segmented nuclei and lobed nuclei, showed a significant increase after 24 and 96 h, indicating that ENA is a better biomarker for Pb exposure than MN alone after short-term exposures. The results of the comet assay performed with erythrocytes in vitro exposed to lead confirmed its genotoxic effect and showed that DNA damage increased with increasing exposure time. Moreover, the NRRA clearly indicated that Pb induces a destabilization of the lysosomal membrane. These results demonstrate the potential genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of lead after acute exposures.