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Gill samples from juvenile brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) acclimated to low-level aluminum at pH 5.2 showed severe damage by day 4, with necrosis and fusion of secondary lamellae and hyperplasia and hypertrophy of mucous cells. Over the following 20 d, there was a continual process of repair with proliferation and hypertrophy of mucous cells. Qualitative analysis of gill samples plus physiology and mortality data collected in a companion study indicated progressive development (by day 10 onward) of increasing acclimation to Al. Quantitative analysis of gill samples on day 13 showed that mucous cell volume density had tripled and mucous cell area had doubled in Al-exposed fish compared with control fish. A lamellar fusion index showed evidence of fusion in Al-exposed fish by day 4 with recovery to nearly control levels by day 13. Physiological disturbances appear to be directly related to the histological changes observed in the gill epithelium. At the cellular level, changes in either mucous cell production and secretion or changes in mucus chemistry contribute, in part, to acclimation to Al.
Additional Publication Details
Nature and time course of acclimation to aluminum in juvenile brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis): II. Gill histology
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences