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Health indicators and contaminant levels of a critically endangered species in the Gironde estuary, the European sturgeon.

Environmental science and pollution research international (2019-04-26)
Marie-Laure Acolas, Blandine Davail, Patrice Gonzalez, Séverine Jean, Christelle Clérandeau, Bénédicte Morin, Pierre-Yves Gourves, Guillemine Daffe, Pierre Labadie, Annie Perrault, Mathilde Lauzent, Maud Pierre, Romaric Le Barh, Magalie Baudrimont, Laurent Peluhet, Karyn Le Menach, Hélène Budzinski, Eric Rochard, Jérôme Cachot
ABSTRACT

The European sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, is a highly endangered species that almost disappeared in the last decades. Thanks to yearly restocking of the population, this species is still found in the Gironde estuary (France), where juveniles grow during several years before leaving to the ocean. The aims of this study were to evaluate the pressure exerted on these fish by known organic and inorganic contaminants during their stay at the Gironde estuary, and to get information on the fish's health in this context. Monthly captures over the year 2014 provided 87 fish from the cohorts 2012 and 2013 mainly, and from cohorts 2008, 2009, and 2011, all fish born in hatchery. We report the very first analyses of contaminant levels and of biological markers measured in the blood of these fish. Low inorganic contamination was found, composed of seven metals mainly Zn (< 5 μg mL-1), Fe (< 1.5 μg mL-1), Cu (< 0.8 μg mL-1), Se (< 0.8 μg mL-1), As (< 0.25 μg mL-1), Co (< 0.14 μg mL-1), and Mn (< 0.03 μg mL-1). Concerning persistent organic contaminants, the sum of seven PCBs varied from 1 to 10 ng g-1 plasma, that of eight OCPs from 0.1 to 1 ng g-1, and that of eight PBDEs from 10 to 100 pg g-1. Higher levels of contaminants were measured during spring as compared to summer. The sex steroid hormone plasma levels (estradiol, testosterone, and 11-ketotestosterone) were quite low, which was predictable for juveniles. The transcription of reproduction-involved genes (EstR, AR, LHR, sox9) in blood cells was demonstrated for the first time. Some of them were correlated with organic contaminant levels PCBs and OCPs. Other gene transcriptions (sodCu and bax) were correlated with PCBs and OCPs. However, the DNA damage level measured here as comet tail DNA and micronuclei ratio in red blood cells were in the very low range of the values commonly obtained in fish from pristine areas. The data presented here can serve as a reference base for future monitoring of this population of sturgeons.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Bovine Serum Albumin, heat shock fraction, suitable for RIA, pH 5.2, ≥96%