Effects of the organophosphorous methyl parathion on the branchial epithelium of a freshwater fish Metynnis roosevelti
Marcelo Rubens Machado*; Edith Fanta
Universidade Norte do Paraná; Avenida Paris, 675; 86041-140; Londrina - PR - Brazil. Universidade Federal do Paraná; Departamento de Biologia Celular; C. P. 19031; 81531-970; Curitiba - PR - Brazil
Gills are vital structures for fish, since they are the main site for gaseous exchange as well as partially responsible for osmorregulation, acid-basic balance, excretion of nitrogenous compounds and taste. Chemicals in the water may alter the morphology of branchial cells of fish that are, therefore, a useful model for environmental impact and ecotoxicology studies. In order to investigate the effects of an organophosphorous compound, methyl parathion, on the gills of the fish, samples of Metynnis roosevelti were exposed to lethal (7ppm) and sublethal (1ppm) doses of Mentox 600 CE. Through light and scanning electron microscopy, shrinking of the branchial epithelium, followed by detachment and hyperplasia were observed. Externally, the branchial filaments presented the gradual disappearance of microridges. Even in sublethal doses, the organophosphorous reduced the health and fitness of these fish, as consequence of secondary effects derived from changes in the branchial epithelium, impairing oxygenation and ionic balance of the organism.
Key words: Gill, fish, methyl parathion, toxicity, morphology
Braz. arch. biol. technol. vol.46 no.3 Curitiba June 2003.