Bioavailability of Pb and Zn from mine tailings as indicated by erythrocyte aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) activity in suckers (Pisces: catostomidae)

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
By: , and 

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Abstract

The activity of the erythrocyte enzyme δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) was measured in 35 catostomids (black redhorse, Moxostoma duquesnei; golden redhorse, M. erythrurum; northern hogsucker, Hypentelium nigricans) collected from three sites on a stream contaminated with Pb-, Cd-, and Zn-rich mine tailings and from an uncontaminated site upstream. Enzyme activity was expressed in terms of hemoglobin (Hb), DNA, and protein concentrations; these variables can be determined in the laboratory on once-frozen blood samples. Concentrations of Pb and Zn in blood and of Pb in edible tissues were significantly higher, and ALA-D activity was significantly lower, at all three contaminated sites than upstream. At the most contaminated site, ALA-D activity was 62–67% lower than upstream. Lead concentrations in the edible tissues and in blood were positively correlated (r = 0.80), whereas ALA-D activity was negatively correlated with Pb in blood (r = −0.70) and in edible tissues (r = −0.59). Five statistically significant relations between Pb and Zn in blood and ALA-D activity were determined. The two models that explained the highest percentage (> 74%) of the total variance also included factors related to Hb concentration. All five significant models included negative coefficients for variables that represented Pb in blood and positive coefficients for Zn in blood. The ALA-D assay with results standardized to Hb concentration represents an expedient alternative to the more traditional hematocrit standardization, and the measurement of ALA-D activity by this method can be used to document exposure of fish to environmental Pb.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bioavailability of Pb and Zn from mine tailings as indicated by erythrocyte aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) activity in suckers (Pisces: catostomidae)
Series title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
DOI 10.1139/f84-120
Volume 41
Issue 7
Year Published 1984
Language English
Publisher NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 1030
Last page 1040
Country United States
State Missouri
Other Geospatial Big River