The Rybinsk Reservoir (Russia) is the largest artificial waterbody in Europe (4550 km2) and provides drinking water for population of the cities located along the coast line. Industrialization in Cherepovets at the northeastern portion of the reservoir, including one of the largest metallurgical facilities in Europe, has resulted in chemical contamination of the reservoir. The extent of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) contamination in bream liver, a common fish species, taken from six locations in the Rybinsk Reservoir and Volga River, and biochemical and morphometric biomarkers of fish health were investigated. Liver PCB concentrations ranged from non-detected to 3.4 ??g/g wet wt of liver, with the greatest concentrations found in fish taken near the industrialized area in Sheksna Reach of Rybinsk Reservoir. The source of the bream contamination is the PCB pollution of bottom organisms and sediments conditioned with industrialization facilities of Cherepovets. The patterns of the PCB congeners in the livers of bream taken near Cherepovets were similar at all of the stations that were sampled around the reservoir and Volga River. Among the common fish health biomarkers used only liver total ChE activity and liver-somatic index in bream near Cherepovets can reflect environmental pollution. Other morphometric (FCF, Clark's condition factors, and spleen-somatic index) and biochemical (protein content and acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain) biomarkers related with fish health varied among locations, but were not correlated to the concentrations of PCBs in the bream livers. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Chemical contamination of the Rybinsk Reservoir, northwest Russia: Relationship between liver polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) content and health indicators in bream (Abramis brama)