Deleterious effects of water-soluble fraction of petroleum, diesel and gasoline on marine pejerrey Odontesthes argentinensis larvae

Rodrigues, Ricardo Vieira; Miranda Filho, Kleber Campos; Gusmão, Emeline Pereira; Moreira, Cauê Bonucci; Romano, Luis Alberto; Sampaio, Luís André Nassr de


Accidental discharges and oil spills are frequent around the world. Petroleum-derived hydrocarbons are considered one of the main pollutants of aquatic ecosystem. The importance of petroleum and refined fuels is notorious because today's society depends on them. Researches related to the toxic water-soluble fraction(WSF) of petroleum and derivatives to aquatic biota are scarce. For this reason, deleterious effects of WSF of Brazilian petroleum, automotive diesel and unleaded gasoline to marine pejerrey Odontesthes argentinensis larvae were studied employing toxicity tests and histopathological examination. Each WSF was generated in a laboratory by mixing four parts of seawater with one part of pollutant by approximately 22 h. Larvae were exposed during 96 h to different concentrations of WSF of petroleum, diesel, and gasoline, plus a control. After 96 h of exposure to the different WSFs, three larvae were sampled for histopathological studies. The median lethal concentration after 96 h (LC50) of exposure for WSF of petroleum was equal to 70.68%, it was significantly higher (Pb0.05) than the values for WSF of diesel and gasoline, which were 13.46% and 5.48%, respectively. The histological examination of pejerrey larvae exposed to WSF of petroleum, diesel and gasoline after 96 h revealed a variety of lesions in the larvae. The gills, pseudobranchs and esophagus presented epithelial hyperplasia, and the liver presented dilatation of hepatic sinusoids, hepatocitomegaly, bi-nucleated and nuclear degeneration of hepatocytes, such as pyknotic nuclei. The acute toxicity of diesel and gasoline is at least fivefold higher than Brazilian petroleum. However, all toxicants induced histopathological abnormalities in pejerrey larvae. The results are of importance since much attention has been paid to large visible surfaces of petroleum spills instead of potential toxic effects of dissolved aromatic hydrocarbons, which are more available to marine biota.

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