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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 197196, 9 pages
Research Article

Bioconcentration and Acute Intoxication of Brazilian Freshwater Fishes by the Methyl Parathion Organophosphate Pesticide

1Universidade Estadual da Zona Oeste, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Laboratório de Comunicação Celular, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Avenue Brasil 4365, Manguinhos, 21045-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Setor de Bioquímica, Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil
4Department of Biology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA
5Laboratório de Ecotoxicologia e Microbiologia Ambiental (LEMAM), Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Fluminense, Cabo Frio, RJ, Brazil
6Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Biologia Roberto Alcântara Gomes, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 14 November 2014; Accepted 26 February 2015

Academic Editor: Sunil Kumar

Copyright © 2015 João Bosco de Salles et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Three species of freshwater Brazilian fishes (pacu, Piaractus mesopotamicus; piavussu, Leporinus macrocephalus, and curimbatá, Prochilodus lineatus) were exposed to an acute dose of 5 ppm methyl parathion organophosphate pesticide. Three to five individuals per species were exposed, one at a time, to 40 liters tap water spiked with Folidol 600. Pesticide concentrations and cholinesterase (ChE) activities were evaluated in serum, liver, brain, heart, and muscle. The bioconcentration of methyl parathion was similar for all studied fishes. Brain tissue showed the highest pesticide concentration, reaching 80 ppm after exposure for 30 min to methyl parathion. Three to 5 hours of 5 ppm methyl parathion exposure provoked the death of all P. lineatus at 92% brain AChE inhibition, whereas fish from the other two species survived for up to 78 hours with less than 80% brain AChE inhibition. Our results indicate that acute toxic effects of methyl parathion to fish are correlated with brain AChE sensitivity to methyl paraoxon.