Juvenile tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) strive to maintain physiological functions after waterborne copper exposure

Su Mei Wu, Hui Ru Ding, Li Yih Lin, Yu Siang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Juvenile tilapia were acutely exposed to 0.2 and 2 mg/L Cu2+ for up to 144 h. The Na+-K+-ATPase (NKA)-specific activity in the gills of tilapia exposed to 0.2 mg/L Cu2+ significantly decreased over 48-72 h and was restored to the control level after 96 h, but was again depressed during 120-144 h. The whole-body Cl- levels significantly decreased after 48 h, but recovered shortly afterwards and continued to do so until 144 h with 0.2 mg/L Cu exposure. During 48-72 h, the numbers of the wavy-convex type of mitochondria-rich (MR) cells appeared to significantly increase and the cortisol content also significantly increased. Changes in MR cell morphology might be necessary in order to enhance Cl - uptake, and this might be related to changes in cortisol levels. Whole-body Na+ concentrations had significantly decreased by 72 h, but recovered during 96-144 h. Whole-body Cu2+ concentrations also significantly increased compared to the initial concentration during 72-144 h of Cu exposure. All measured parameters (NKA activity, Na+ concentration, and MR cell numbers) significantly decreased in fish exposed to 2 mg/L Cu, and no recovery was observed. These data demonstrate that juvenile tilapia strived to maintain physiological functions after exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of Cu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-492
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr


  • Compensation
  • Copper
  • Sodium pump
  • Teleost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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