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Liver histological changes and lipid peroxidation in the amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum induced by sediment elutriates from the Lake Xochimilco

Esperanza Ortiz-Ordoñez , Eugenia López-López , Jacinto Elías Sedeño-Díaz , Esther Uría , Ignacio Andrés Morales , María Estela Pérez , Mineko Shibayama


Received March 04, 2015,Revised June 07, 2015, Accepted June 18, 2015, Available online April 05, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 156-164

Lacustrine sediments accumulate pollutants that input from the lake watershed and can be released to the water column by sediment resuspension; thus, pollutants can change their bioavailability and exert adverse effects to aquatic biota. Shallow-urban lakes are particularly susceptible to receive pollutants from urban discharges and sediment resuspension. Lake Xochimilco, in Mexico City, an urban-shallow lake, faces multiple problems: urban sprawl, overexploitation of aquifers, drying of springs, discharge of wastewater from treatment plants, and sediment resuspension. The aquatic biota living in this ecosystem is continuously exposed to the release of pollutants from the sediments. We assessed the risk that pollutants released from sediments from Lake Xochimilco, Touristic (TZ) and Agriculture zone (AZ), can exert on a native amphibian species of the lake (Ambystoma mexicanum) through exposure bioassays to sediment elutriates. We evaluate alterations in the amphibian by three approaches: biochemical (level of lipid peroxidation, LPO), cellular (ultrastructure) and the liver histology of A. mexicanum and we compare them with a batch control. Additionally, we assessed heavy metals (Pb, Cd and Hg) in elutriates. Elutriates from TZ showed the highest concentrations of the metals assessed. Organisms exposed to sediment elutriates from either study sites showed higher LPO values than control organisms (p < 0.05). Organisms exposed to elutriates from the TZ showed the most conspicuous damages: hepatic vasodilation of sinusoids, capillaries with erythrocytes, leukocyte infiltration and cytoplasmic vacuolation in hepatocytes. The biological responses assessed reflected the risk that faces A. mexicanum when is exposed for prolonged periods to sediment resuspension in Lake Xochimilco.

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