Publication details

Toxicity of cyanobacterial biomass to birds: effects in testes including detoxification parameters and histology



Year of publication 2010
Type Article in Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Water pollution and control
Description Our previous studies demonstrated toxic effects of cyanobacteria in birds (Japanese quails) in various experimental set-up including acute, sub-chronic and reproduction toxicity, co-exposures with toxic metals and vaccination. This study aimed to assess the testicular toxicity of the complex cyanobacterial biomass administered to Japanese quails in the food during eight weeks (daily dose of 61.62 microg microcystins; 26.54 microg MC-RR, 7.62 microg MC-YR and 27.39 microg MC-LR). There was no mortality in both controls and biomass-exposed birds and no alterations of other reproductive parameters such as egg viability or egg hatching. However, males exposed to cyanobacteria in food had significantly atrophic testes compared to control birds. Interestingly, variable responses were observed in parameters related to oxidative stress and detoxification. Biomass-exposed birds had elevated activities of catalase but decreased activities of glutathione peroxidase and surprisingly lower levels of lipid peroxides in testes. Other studied biochemical parameters (i.e. glutathione level and activities of glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase) were not affected by cyanobacteria. In conclusion, the cell defensive system in bird testicular tissue seems to be insufficient to protect against toxic effects of complex cyanobacterial biomass. Long eight-week exposure could result in significant attenuation of oxidative stress but the overall outcome of exposure was significant damage to testes in birds.
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