The impacts of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure on smoltification and subsequent seawater performance were investigated in hatchery-reared, anadromous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). The fish were subjected to a 2-month summer seawater residence, after which they were orally dosed with 0 (Control, C), 1 (Low Dose, LD) or 100 mg Aroclor 1254 kg-1 body mass (High Dose, HD) in November. They were then held in fresh water, without being fed (to mimic their natural overwintering in freshwater), until they had smolted in June the next year. The smolts were then transferred to seawater and fed to mimic their summer feeding residence in seawater, followed by a period without food in freshwater from August until maturation in October. Compared with C and LD charr, the HD charr had either a transient or a permanent reduction in plasma growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, and thyroxin and triiodothyronine titers during the period of smoltification. These hormonal alterations in the HD charr corresponded with impaired hyposmoregulatory ability in May and June, as well as reduced growth rate and survival after transference to seawater. Consequently, fewer fish in the HD group matured in October compared to the other two treatments. The HD fish had a liver PCB concentration ranging between 14 and 42 mg kg-1 wet mass, whereas there were similar, and very low, liver PCB concentrations in LD and C fish throughout the smolting period. Our findings suggest that PCB might compromise mechanisms important for fitness in a fish species living in an extreme environment. ?? 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Additional Publication Details
PCB impairs smoltification and seawater performance in anadromous Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus)
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology