Heavy metal contamination and hepatic toxicological responses in brown trout (Salmo trutta) from the Kerguelen Islands

  • Ali Jaffal Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
  • Stéphane Betoulle Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
  • Sylvie Biagianti-Risbourg Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
  • Alexandre Terreau French Polar Institue Paul-Emile Victor
  • Wilfried Sanchez Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS)
  • Séverine Paris-Palacios Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne
Keywords: Brown trout, freshwater, fish, sub-Antarctic, liver, biomarkers


The Kerguelen Islands include various species of freshwater fish such as brown trout (Salmo trutta). These trout are among the most isolated from direct anthropogenic impact worldwide. This study was designed to analyse cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) concentrations in the liver of Kerguelen brown trout, and to assess the possible impacts of these metals on hepatic histopathology and oxidative stress parameters (superoxide dismutase and catalase activity and glutathione levels). Trout were caught in the Château River, the Studer Lakes and the Ferme Pond, close to the scientific station of the Kerguelen Islands, corresponding to three morphotypes (river, lake and station). Kerguelen trouts’ hepatic concentrations of Cd and Cur were similar to those reported in previous studies in salmonids populations from areas under anthropological impacts. Clear hepatic disturbances (fibrosis, nuclear alteration, increased immune response, melanomacrophage centres [MMCs]) were observed in all tested trout. A similar histo-pathological trend was observed among the trout from the three morphotypes but anti-oxidative responses were higher in the trout from the “station” morphotype. Hepatic alterations and the presence of MMCs in the livers of Kerguelen brown trout may be related to the high levels of Cd and Cu measured in this fish at all sampling sites.

Keywords: Brown trout; freshwater; fish; sub-Antarctic; liver; biomarkers

(Published: 22 September 2015)

Citation: Polar Research 2015, 34, 22784, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v34.22784


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How to Cite
Jaffal, A., Betoulle, S., Biagianti-Risbourg, S., Terreau, A., Sanchez, W., & Paris-Palacios, S. (2015). Heavy metal contamination and hepatic toxicological responses in brown trout (Salmo trutta) from the Kerguelen Islands. Polar Research, 34. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v34.22784
Research/review articles