The process of eutrophication and consequent proliferation of cyanobacteria in rivers and lakes leads to increasing numbers of harmful algal blooms and higher concentration of toxic metabolites in freshwater bodies. Microcystin is a toxic metabolite produced by cyanobacteria that is frequently detected and can pose health risks to important freshwater species including fish. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of microcystin-LR on the morphology of Astyanax altiparanae's liver and muscle. One hundred (n = 100) Astyanax altiparanae were divided into 5 groups (n = 20) with 24 h and 96 h of microcystin exposition at two doses of 0.5 and 1.0 μg/L. Differences were observed in the microcystin treatment with respect to histopathological analyses including cytoplastic degradation, displacement, and increase in nuclei volume and area of hepatocytes. Hyperemia and dilation of blood capillaries were seen in the liver. There were also observable changes in the size of muscle fibers and muscle inflammation. Our results demonstrate that microcystins can impact the integrity of both tissues even at sublethal concentrations. Low doses of microcystins are therefore sufficient to intoxicate fish livers and muscle tissues.
- Harmful algal blooms
- Water pollution