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Volume 8 (2008), Pages 713-719
Research Article

Tissue Distribution and Depuration of the Extracted Hepatotoxic Cyanotoxin Microcystins in Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) Intraperitoneally Injected at a Sublethal Dose

Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology of China, Institute of Hydrobiology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China

Received 4 May 2008; Revised 19 June 2008; Accepted 15 July 2008

Academic Editor: Lars Sonesten

Copyright © 2008 Hehua Lei et al.


An acute toxicity experiment was conducted by intraperitoneal injection with a sublethal dose of extracted microcystins (MCs), 50 μg MC-LR (where L = leucine and R = arginine) equivalent/kg body weight (BW), to examine tissue distribution and depuration of MCs in crucian carp (Carassius carassius). Liver to body weight ratio increased at 3, 12, 24, and 48 h postinjection compared with that at 0 h (p < 0.05). MC concentrations in various tissues and aquaria water were analyzed at 1, 3, 12, 24, 48, and 168 h postinjection using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The highest concentration of MCs (MC-RR + MC-LR) was found in blood, 2–270 ng/g dry weight (DW), followed by heart (3–100 ng/g DW) and kidney (13–88 ng/g DW). MC levels were relatively low in liver, gonad, intestine, spleen, and brain. MC contents in gills, gallbladder, and muscle were below the limit of detection. Significant negative correlation was present between MC-RR concentration in blood and that in kidney, confirming that blood was important in the transportation of MC-RR to kidney for excretion. Rapid accumulation and slow degradation of MCs were observed in gonad, liver, intestine, spleen, and brain. Only 0.07% of injected MCs were detected in liver. The recovery of MCs in liver of crucian carp seemed to be dose dependent.