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Effects of Aluminium Phosphide on the Behaviour, Haematology, Oxidative Stress Biomarkers and Biochemistry of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) Juvenile.

Byline: G.E. Odo, E.J. Agwu, N.I. Ossai, C.O. Ezea, J. Madu and V. Eneje

Abstract

Aluminium phosphide is a cheap, effective and commonly used pesticide in agriculture for pest control in Nigeria. This study investigated the effects of aluminium phosphide on the behaviour, haematology, oxidative stress biomarkers and biochemistry of African catfish (C. gariepinus) juvenile on days 7, 14, 21 and 28. Fish were exposed to 0.175, 0.0875 and 0.035 mg/L corresponding to 1/10, 1/20 and 1/50 of the 96 h LC50 value (1.75) of the pesticide. Behavioral responses which include colouration of the fish skin and opercula colouration were observed. Aluminium phosphide elicited effects on the haematological parameters of the fish such as a decrease in Hb when compared to the control; reduction of MCV, MCH and MCHC to all exposed concentration of aluminium phosphide, significant increase in neutrophil, basophil, eosinophil and monocytes throughout the duration of exposure and decrease in the lymphocytes.

The results on gill and liver tissues sampled showed concentration and time dependent significant increase (p 0.05) throughout the duration of the experiment and was significantly increased (p>0.05). There was significant difference in PCV values between the control and treated C. gariepinus on day 7 which subsequently increased significantly (p > 0.05) from day 14 of exposure. An aluminium phosiphide- induced dose and time dependent significant increase in the WBC count from day 14 onward (p >0.05) were observed while values of blood parameters (MCV, MCH and MCHC) in the experimental fish were not significantly different (p > 0.05) from the control group throughout the duration of the experiment.

Changes in the mean values of the leukocyte differentials are presented in Table IV. There was dose and time dependent significant decrease (p 0.05) from day 7 onward but the values of the monocytes, basophils and eosinophils were not significantly different (p>0.05) from the control.

Lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme

The effects of different sub lethal concentrations of aluminium phosphide on lipid peroxidation in the form of TBARS formation and the responses of other antioxidant enzymes (GP, CAT and SOD) in the liver and gill tissues of C. gariepinus are presented in Table V. The LPO induction was both time and concentration dependent in both tissues with the lowest TBARS formation observed on day 7 of exposure. The values gradually increased as the experiment progressed with the highest formation recorded on day 28.

Administration of graded doses of aluminium phosphide did not cause significant changes in the liver MDA concentrations of juvenile catfish when compared to control values (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05) (Table V). Time dependent declines were recorded in the liver MDA of fish treated with 0.175mg/L on days 14 - 28 when compared to day 7 (p [?] 0.05).Similarly, significant decreases in the MDA concentrations was observed only on day 14 for the 0.175 and 0.0875 mg/L concentrations when compared to the control (p [?] 0.05) in the gill. Time dependent elevations in the MDA concentrations were recorded for the 0.175 and 0.035 mg/L dosages on day 28 when compared to day 7. In the liver, significant changes occurred in the GSH concentrations of fish administered with 0.0875 mg/L and 0.035 mg/L on day 7 and day 14 respectively when compared to control values (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05).

In the gill of the fish, significant changes were recorded in the GSH values for the 0.0875 mg/L on day 14 when compared to the control values (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05). Also, in the liver, significant time dependent declines were recorded in the SOD concentrations of fish administered 0.175 mg/L on day 14, and 0.035mg/L on day 21 when compared to day 7 values (p < 0.05).

Table IV.- Effects of exposure to various sub lethal levels of aluminum phosphide on differential WBC counts (percentage) in Clarias gariepinus.

Parameters###AlP (mgl1)###Exposure duration (days)

###7###14###21###28

Neutrophils###Control###37.37 +- 4.54a1###37.07 +- 4.40a1###37.13 +- 3.70a1###37.11 +- 4.45a1

###0.175###20.00 +- 3.45a2###22.50 +- 2.03a2###25.50 +- 2.40a2###31.10 +- 2.80a1

###0.035###21.00 +- 2.16a2###18.04 +- 1.70 a3###28.50 +- 2.45b23###30.05 +- 3.15b1

###0.0875###19.50 +- 1.11a2###19.01 +- 1.16 a3###29.05 +- 2.20b3###29.05 +- 2.45b1

Basophils###Control###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1

###0.175###1.00 +- 0.00a2###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1

###0.035###0.00 +- 0.00a1###2.00 +- 0.01 b2###1.50 +- 0.03b1###0.50 +- 0.02b2

###0.0875###0.50 +- 0.01a2###1.00 +- 0.01 b2###1.50 +- 0.22b1###1.00 +- 0.03b2

Eosinophils###Control###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1

###0.175###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.50 +- 0.02 b2###0.50 +- 0.03b2###0.50 +- 0.02b2

###0.035###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.50 +- 0.01 b2###0.50 +- 0.02b2###0.50 +- 0.03b2

###0.0875###0.50 +- 0.01b2###0.00 +- 0.00a1###1.50 +- 0.04b2###0.00 +- 0.00a1

Monocytes###Control###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.00 +- 0.00a1

###0.175###0.50 +- 0.01a2###1.00 +- 0.04a2###0.00 +- 0.00b1###0.00 +- 0.00b1

###0.035###0.00 +- 0.00a1###0.50 +- 0.02b2###1.5 +- 0.05b2###0.50 +- 0.02b2

###0.0875###1.00 +- 0.01a2###0.50 +- 0.02b2###0.5 +- 0.02b2###0.50 +- 0.02b2

Lymphocytes###Control###63.63 +- 3.64a1###63.24 +- 3.25a1###63.70 +- 3.01a1###63.50 +- 3.86a1

###0.175###78.50 +- 2.85a2###76.02 +- 2.26a2###74.08 +- 3.11a2###68.50 +- 2.95b2

###0.035###79.00 +- 2.51a2###79.03 +- 2.76a2###68.04 +- 4.02a2###68.52 +- 3.66b2

###0.0875###78.50 +- 1.81a2###79.50 +- 2.45a2###68.05 +- 3.77b3###69.50 +- 3.76b2

Table V.- Activity of lipid peroxidation (TBARS, nmol TBARS mg protein) glutathione peroxidase (GPx, nmol min mg protein), catalase (CAT, umol min mg protein ) and superoxide dismutase (SOD, U mg protein ) in the liver and gill tissues of C. gariepinus exposed to sublethal concentration (0.24 and 0.47 mgL) of aluminium phosphide.

Parameters###Tissue###Concentration###Exposure duration( days)

###(mg/l)###7###14###21###28

LPO###Gill###Control###0.99 +- 0.04a1A###0.98 +- 0.09a1A###0.98 +- 0.13a1A###0.97 +- 0.12a1A

###0.175###0.49 +- 0.06a2B###0.72 +- 0.11b2B###0.72 +- 0.06b2B###0.91 +- 0.06c1B

###0.035###0.53 +- 0.06a2B###0.59 +- 0.06a2B

###0.65 +- 0.01a2B###0.69 +- 0.03a1B

###0.0875###0.34 +- 0.01a2A###0.55 +- 0.03a2B###0.67 +- 0.08b2B###0.76 +- 0.04c1B

###Liver###Control###1.24 +- 0.14a1A###1.23 +- 0.12a1A###1.04 +- 0.10a1A###1.11 +- 0.13a1A

###0.175###0.69 +- 0.07a2B###0.80 +- 0.09a1B###1.25 +- 0.16b1C###1.41 +- 0.15b1B

###0.0355###0.50 +- 0.03a2B###0.94 +- 0.03b1B###1.58 +- 0.11c1C###1.36 +- 0.10c1C

###0.0875###0.50 +- 0.02a2B###0.64 +- 0.02a2B###0.95 +- 0.09b1C###1.34 +- 0.23c1C

CAT###Gill###Control###0.74 +- 0.03a1A###0.71 +- 0.08a1A###0.69 +- 0.06a1A###0.72 +- 0.06a1A

###0.175###0.68 +- 0.06a1A###0.60 +- 0.07a1A###0.63 +- 0.05a1A###0.58 +- 0.03a1A

###0.035###0.62 +- 0.04a1A###0.63 +- 0.04a1A###0.67 +- 0.07a1A###0.54 +- 0.01a1A

###0.0875###0.70 +- 0.03a1A###0.64 +- 0.04a1A###0.67 +- 0.09a1A###0.56 +- 0.04a1A

###Liver###Control###0.89 +- 0.14a1A###0.86 +- 0.09a1A###0.87 +- 0.10a1A###0.85 +- 0.12a1A

###0.175###0.75 +- 0.07a1A###0.62 +- 0.06a1A###079 +- 0.06a1A###0.59 +- 0.02a1A

###0.035###0.67 +- 0.07a1A###0.61 +- 0.04a1A###0.73 +- 0.08a1A###0.58 +- 0.04a1A

###0.0875###0.63 +- 0.04a1A###0.60 +- 0.02a1A###0.63 +- 0.04a1A###0.57 +- 0.08a1A

SOD###Gill###Control###94.61 +- 4.56a1A###94.30 +- 2.85a1A###93.80 +- 3.64a1A###94.04 +- 3.05a1A

###0.175###87.70 +- 3.87a2A###82.22 +- 3.06b2A###76.80 +- 2.86a2A###76.21 +- 3.16a2A

###0.035###85.21 +- 3.56a2A###77.90 +- 2.65b2A###76.81 +- 2.56b2A###73.20 +- 2.86a2A

###0.0875###85.31 +- 2.97a2A###75.40 +- 2.67b3A###75.80 +- 2.07a2A###74.04 +- 2.96b2A

###Liver###Control###96.71 +- 6.45a1A###96.43 +- 4.45a1A###95.63 +- 4.6 a1A###95.85 +- 5.95a1A

###0.175###88.41 +- 5.87a2A###86.22 +- 3.24a2A###81.07 +- 4.18b1A###76.71 +- 4.16b2A

###0.035###84.81 +- 4.76a2A###81.02 +- 2.45a3A###78.72 +- 3.95b2A###74.67 +- 3.24b2A

###0.0875###86.55 +- 3.86a2A###80.91 +- 2.76a3A###78.61 +- 2.65c2A###75.11 +- 2.62c2A

GPx###Gill###Control###86.61 +- 4.45a1A###86.24 +- 3.08a1A###85.48 +- 4.15a1A###85.93 +- 3.30a1A

###0,175###30.32 +- 2.45a2C###29.21 +- 2.45a2C###26.71 +- 2.22b2C###23.61 +- 2.45b2C

###0.035###31.21 +- 2.01a2C###30.61 +- 3.45a2C###27.11 +- 2.11a23C###23.73 +- 2.65b2C

###0.0875###29.02 +- 1.19a2C###28.30 +- 2.85a2C###29.40 +- 1.95a3C###25.43 +- 2.09b2C

###Liver###Control###40.44 +- 2.11a1B###40.85 +- 3.30a1B###41.12 +- 3.16a1B###40.23 +- 3.45a1B

###0.175###30.11 +- 2.06a2C###25.16 +- 2.65a2C###26.11 +- 2.56a2C###25.11 +- 3.09a2C

###0.035###30.42 +- 2.07a2C###27.71 +- 2.56a2C###25.83 +- 1.84a2C###24.06 +- 2.08a2C

###0.0875###31.14 +- 1.85a2C###27.70 +- 2.45a2C###26.55 +- 1.63a2C###24.65 +- 1.95a2C

GR###Gill###Control###4.76 +- 1.18a1A###4.23 +- 1.19a1A###4.06 +- 1.45a1A###4.12 +- 2.06a1A

###0.175###2.77 +- 1.06a1A###2.67 +- 0.93a1A###2.49 +- 1.13a1A###2.23 +- 0.18a2A

###0.035###2.39 +- 0.93a1A###2.41 +- 0.85a1A###2.41 +- 0.56a1A###2.41 +- 0.93a2A

###0.0875###2.58 +- 0.94a1A###2.53 +- 0.74a1A###2.36 +- 0.16a2A###2.30 +- 0.84a2A

###Liver###Control###5.60 +- 0.95a1A###5.36 +- 1.16a1A###5.40 +- 1.14a1A###5.03 +- 0.96a1A

###0.175l###3.15 +- 0.75a1A###3.33 +- 0.85a1A###2.91 +- 0.86a1A###2.57 +- 0.34a2A

###0.035###3.52 +- 0.65a1A###3.17 +- 0.75a1A###2.85 +- 0.56a1A###2.50 +- 0.14a2A

###0.0875###3.49 +- 0.65a1A###3.25 +- 0.36a1A###3.25 +- 0.36a1A###2.68 +- 0.13a2A

MDA###Gill###Control###2.52+-22a2###3.51 +- 19a1###2.55 +- 21a2###3.11+-28a12

###0.175###2.73+-09a2###2.42+-24b2###3.09 +- 20a12###4.02+-46a1

###0.035###2.34+-07a1###2.38+-26b1###8.86+-6.33a1###3.83+-40a1

###0.0875###2.42+-11a2###3.02+-18ab12###3.05+-41a12###3.74+-03a1

###Liver###Control###2.96+-40a1###3.21+-46a1###2.46+-09a1###3.09+-44a1

###0.175###2.84+-06a1###3.16+-11a2###2.80+-08a2###4.06+-19a2

###0.035###2.57+-11a1###2.58+-15a1###3.35+-63a1###3.35+-50a1

###0.0875###2.71+-13a1###2.80+-34a1###2.76+-21a1###3.16+-64a1

Table VI.- Effects of aluminium phosphide on biochemical parameters on C. gariepinus.

Parameters###Tissue###Concentra-###Exposure duration (days)

###tion###7###14###21###28

###(mg/l)

ALT###Liver###Control###39.67+-4.91ab1###0.67+-88a2###13.00+-2.08ab2###14.33+-1.45ab2

###0.175###31.67+-4.18b1###14.00+-5.29a2###10.00+-58b2###11.00+-1.00b2

###0.035###51.33+-2.60a1###9.33+-1.20a2###15.00+-2.08ab2###15.67+-1.45a2

###0.0875###46.00+-3.21a1###17.67+-3.48a2###17.33+-65a2###16.33+-88a2

###Gill###Control###32.00+-6.11ab1###13.00+-1.00a2###14.67+-2.67ab1###17.33+-1.76a2

###0.175###23.00+-58b1###11.00+-1.53ab2###13.00+-00a2###11.33+-88b2

###0.035###40.00+-4.04a1###8.00+-1.55 b3###19.33+-2.40a2###17.67+-1.45a2

###0.0875###37.33+-4.06a1###13.67+-1.20a2###14.33+-1.20a2###16.33+-1.88ab2

AST###Liver###Control###13.00+-3.21a2###51.0015.04a1###60.00+-10.00a1###47.00+-8.74a1

###0.175###10.33+-88a2###45.00+-6.11a1###40.335.46b1###33.67+-2.60a1

###0.035###14.00+-2.08a2###76.00+-17.58a1###70.33+-1.86a1###53.00+-7.00a1

###0.0875###17.00+-1.53a2###73.00+-2.52a1###66.00+-1.73a1###49.67+-2.73a2

###Gill###Control###10.00+-2.03b2###77.67+-21.18a1###57.33+-10.71ab1###34.00+-11.72a12

###0.175###9.00+-1.53b2###38.00+-6.11a1###35.00+-1.00b1###39.33+-1.53a1

###0.035###11.00+-1.00b2###69.67+-20.85a1###63.33+-6.17a1###48.33+-4.98a1

###0.0875###17.33+-1.86a3###68.33+-4.63a1###70.33+-5.78a1###52.33+-2.85a2

ALP###Liver###Control###159.87+-39.43a1###127.26+-8.92b1###132.49+-6.06a1###118.02+-4.91a1

###0.175###166.52+-27.11a1###121.59+-5.35b12###112.83+-8.66b3###122.69+-3.33a12

###0.035###181.99+-8.88a1###150.45+-7.31a2###131.42+-51a23###121.17+-8.63a3

###0.0875###156.06+-14.23a1###136.26+-2.83ab12###134.01+-2.81a12###123.34+-2.11a2

###Gill###Control###147.01+-10.27a1###132.44+-3.26a12###134.03+-7.62a12###120.09+-2.02a2

###0.175###157.82+-14.2a1###125.37+-01a2###130.53+-3.672###117.54+-5.98a2

###0.0175###142.87+-5.24a1###139.06+-7.79a12###13.84+-4.73a12###119.25+-5.44a2

###0.0875###167.27+-2.13a1###139.06+-5.16a2###132.64+-2.15a23###123.86+-3.38a3

In the gill, the graded doses of aluminum phosphide did not elicit any significant changes in the SOD concentrations when compared with control values (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05). Significant time - dependent reduction in the SOD concentrations were recorded on day 14 for the 0.175 and 0.0875 mg/L concentrations when compared to day 7 values (p [?] 0.05). Significant change (decline) in the liver catalase concentration occurred only on day 21 for the 0.175 mg/L treatment (p [?] 0.05), while other changes were not significant (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05). Significant time dependent changes in the gill catalase concentrations of juvenile catfish were only recorded on days 14 and 21 when compared to the day 7 value (p [?] 0.05) while other variations were similar (p [greater than or equal to] 0.05).

Effect on biochemical parameters

The changes in tissue ALP, AST and ALT are presented in Table V1. Results showed time and concentration dependant significant decrease in ALP in both tissues throughout the experimental duration. There were fluctuations values of AST and ALT in the liver when compared to the control. This mixed trend was observed in the values in the gill tissue. While ALT values were comparable to the control throughout the experimental duration, AST values significantly increased from day 5 of exposure.

DISCUSSION

The C. gariepinus were exposed to varying concentrations of aluminium phosphide and this manifested various effects on the behaviour of the fish which included graying of the epidermal layer of the skin, yellowish colouration of the operculum, fin and opercula movement and eventually death. This was similar to the behavioural response observed by Edeh (2012) who reported that C. gariepinus fingerlings exhibited such changes in opercula movement and respiratory distress when exposed to varying concentrations of cassava effluents which contains the toxicant cyanide. These observations also corresponded with those of Oti (2002) who reported dark coloration, respiratory distress and increased opercula movements were observed when fishes were exposed to various concentrations of toxicants. This colour change in the fish was gray melanic colours through melanocyte-stimulating hormone -induced stimulation of melanin granule dispersed in the melanocytes.

This behavior of pigment-containing cells is controlled by both the nervous and endocrine systems with more rapid changes typically reflecting neural control (Fujii, 2000).

The percentage mortality of C. gariepinus increased with increasing concentrations of aluminium phosphide. Moreover, in this study, the toxicity level of aluminium phosphide on C. gariepinus was found to be 1.75 mg/L. This was higher than the 1.05mg/L and lower than 13.6mg/L reported by Usman and Knowles (2001) and Das and Murkherjee (2003) when organophosphate derivatives-based pesticide were exposed to Labeo rohita fingerlings and larvae and adults of Helic oerpaze and Agrotis ipsolonm respectively. However, the 96 h LC50 value 1.75 mg/l is higher than 0.750 mg/l reported by Yaji et al. (2011) when Oreochromis niloticus were exposed to organophosphate commercial formulation pesticide.

Exposure of C.gariepinus to sublethal concentrations of aluminium phosphide elicited effects on the haematological parameters of the fish. There was a decrease in Hb when compared to the control; the reduction in this parameter may be attributed to haemolysis caused by the drug action on the fish. This is also an indication that the Hb biosynthetic was adversely affected. This could limit the oxygen-carrying capacity of the fish blood. The decrease may also be attributed to the limit in erythrocyte synthesis due to impaired osmoregulation across the gill epithelium (Saravanan et al., 2011; Pereira et al., 2013). During the treatment, aluminium phosphide can be absorbed easily through vascularized surfaces like the gastro intestinal tracks (GIT) and the gills.

This absorption was made possible due to the lipophilic nature of aluminium phosphide that enable it pass easily through the membranes hence the observed decrease of Hb in the hematological parameters in our present study. Further, blood indices are often subjected to variations depending upon stress and environmental factors ( Hlavova, 1993). Exposure of aluminium phosphide stimulate the T-lymphocyte cells in the lymphomyeliod tissue as defense mechanism against the stressor hence the observed proliferation of WBC in the peripheral blood (Campbell, 1996). WBCs are involved in the regulation of immunological function in many organisms and the observed increase in many organisms in the WBC count in aluminium phosphide-treated fish after some days of exposure indicated immune and protective response. Similarly, to these present finding, Saravanan et al. (2012) reported a significant increase in WBCs in C. carprio exposed to pharmaceutical drugs clofibric acid and diclofenac.

Significant increase in WBCs has also been reported in Cirrhinus mirigala (Saravanan et al., 2012) after exposure to different concentrations of pharmaceutical drug ibuprofen. The data on MCV, MCH and MCHC showed a significant decrease to all exposed concentration of aluminium phosphide. The decreased MCV shows that erythrocytes shrunk as a result of water imbalance, stress or the production of immature erythrocytes. The significant reduction in MCV in aluminium phosphide-treated fish, when compared to the control, is an evidence of the production and subsequent release of immature erythrocytes into the general circulation to compensate for the adverse effects of on the haemopoietic tissues of the fish. The significant reduction in MCH and MCHC is a good indication of defective Hb biosynthesis in the fish.

Similar decreases in MCH, MCV, and MCHC have been reported in fish exposed to different concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs (Kasagala and Pathiratne, 2008; Velisek et al., 2009; Li et al., 2011). Changes in leucocyte differentials are recognized as a sensitive indicator of environmental stress and provide an overview of the integrity of the immune system (Cole et al., 2001). Neutrophils and lymphocytes make up the majority of WBC and proliferate in circulation in response to stress (Jain, 1993; Thrall, 2004). The observed significant increase in neutrophil, basophil, eosinophil and monocytes throughout the duration of exposure may have been provoked by the stress imposed by aluminium phosphide on the fish. The lymphocytes however, decreased as duration lasted from 7-28 days.

Exposure of fish to different contaminants have been known to present substantial variability effects in most physiological and biochemical variables (Sadauskas-Henrique et al., 2011). Antioxidant levels, enzymological activity and haematological profiles are widely used as indicators to assess toxic stress, functional status and homeostasis in animals (Saravanan et al., 2012; Gecit et al., 2014). In the present study, our data demonstrated that exposure to sublethal concentration of aluminium phosphide increased in a time and concentration-dependent manner, for example in the levels of MDA in both tissues (gill and liver). Time dependent declines were recorded in the liver MDA values on the gill for 0.175 mg/l and 0.0875 mg/l on day 7 but on day 28, there was time dependent elevation thus reflecting increased oxidative stress and lipoperoxidation.

Cellular oxidative stress results when the balance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants are disrupted leading to excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (Dabas et al., 2011). ROS generated can react with biological molecules and cause increase in lipid peroxidation, DNA damage and protein oxidation resulting in disturbance in cell physiological processes (Tejada et al., 2007). MDA is one of the end products in the lipid peroxidation process and thus the elevated values of MDA values obtained in the present study are in agreement with previous reports in fish exposed to different herbicides (Modesto et al., 2011; Guilherme et al., 2012; Blahova et al., 2013) and other toxicants (Li et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2013; Adeyemi, 2013). CAT on the other hand degrades hydrogen peroxide which results from the degradation of the anion superoxide by the enzyme SOD.

Under exposure to aluminium phosphide, in C. gariepinus catalase in the fish liver showed significant elevation on day 14 when compared to the control values and no significant change was observed in the gills. In addition, no significant change was recorded in SOD of the fish tissues. SOD plays an important role and helps to convert superoxide radical to hydrogen peroxide for possible conversion to water and molecular water by CAT (Shao and Dong, 2012). This minor elevation of CAT probably was not sufficient to remove the ROS and neutralize oxidative stress as significant increase in MDA observed in the tissues throughout the duration of the experiment. This suggested that oxidative stress can be imposed by the presence of the pesticide aluminium phosphide and the ROS produced may subsequently react with biomolecules resulting in oxidative stress to cellular components. Similar results have been reported in C. gariepinus exposed to butachlor by Farombi et al. (2008).

The effects of aluminium phosphide on biochemical parameters such as AST, ALT and ALP have been used widely in ecotoxicological studies to assess stress induced by various contaminants in the environment (El-Sayeed, 2007). Furthermore, enzymes such as AST and ALT have been used to determine pollution exposure and serve as good bioindicators (Larvanya et al., 2011). In the present study, exposure of C. gariepinus to aluminium phosphide enhanced levels of AST, ALT and ALP as we recorded both concentration dependent and time dependent in elevation which however varied and were comparable to the control throughout the exposure. This is in agreement with the work of Nwani et al. (2014) whose results showed concentration and time dependent increase in biochemical parameters of tissues of C. gariepinus exposed to the herbicide, Primextra. The increase in these parameters indicated enhanced transamination which is a sensitive indicator of stress imposed by the pesticide.

Increased transaminations during pesticide challenge have attributed to the need to meet higher energy demand by fish (Saravanan et al., 2012) Increased activities of these parameters were also observed in common carp, Cyprinus carpio exposed to the herbicide, Gordoprin Plus, with triazine and S-metalochlor as active ingredients (Dobsikova et al., 2011) and in other fish exposed to different environmental toxicants (Prusty et al., 2011; Saravanan et al., 2012).

CONCLUSION

This study showed various effects of A. phosphide on the behaviour of the fish which included graying of the epidermal layer of the skin, yellowish colouration of the operculum, fin and ope+rcula movement and eventually death. Also, sublethal concentrations of aluminium phosphide elicited effects on the haematological parameters of the fish such as a decrease in Hb when compared to the control; reduction of MCV, MCH and MCHC to all exposed concentration of aluminium phosphide, significant increase in neutrophil, basophil, eosinophil and monocytes throughout the duration of exposure and decrease in the lymphocytes. Similarly, aluminium phosphide enhanced levels of AST, ALT and ALP as both concentration dependent and time dependent in elevation were recorded when compared to the control. The use of aluminium phosphide in agricultural fields near water bodies should be strongly monitored in view of the observed effects on this catfish fish physiology.

The environmental authorities especially in Nigeria needs to set up new environmental laws as well as environmental assessment criteria to regulate the usage of aluminium phosphide and other pesticides. This will help reduce the influx of these toxicants entering into the aquatic environment.

Statement of conflict of interest

Authors have declared no conflict of interest.

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Author:Odo, G.E.; Agwu, E.J.; Ossai, N.I.; Ezea, C.O.; Madu, J.; Eneje, V.
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
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Date:Apr 30, 2017
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