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PAH metabolites in bile fluids of dab (Limanda limanda) and flounder (Platichthys flesus): spatial distribution and seasonal changes



PAH metabolites in bile fluids of dab (Limanda limanda) and flounder (Platichthys flesus): spatial distribution and seasonal changes



Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 14(2): 102-108



Background, Aims and Scope. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are important environmental contaminants which may lead to increased levels of neoplastic aberrations or tumours in fish liver. Therefore, monitoring of PAH and their effects are part of several international environmental programmes. The aim of the present field study was to investigate the concentrations of the PAH metabolites in fish bile, to elucidate spatial, seasonal and species differences as well as to discuss different strategies of normalisation with regard to environmental monitoring.Material Methods. PAH metabolites were determined in the bile fluid of dab (Limanda limanda) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) caught in the North Sea and Baltic Sea between 1997 and 2004. After enzymatic deconjugation, two metabolites were determined by means of HPLC. The limit of detection and the limit of quantification were calculated. The accuracy of the method was tested with a standard reference material. Results were referred to bile volume as well as to biliverdin.Results. The main metabolite, 1-hydroxypyrene, was determined in concentrations from < 0.7 to 838 ng/ml in bile of dab (Limanda limanda) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) caught between 1997 and 2004. The values for 1-hydroxyphenanthrene in fish bile were considerably lower (< 0.4-87 ng/ml). Significant differences in the 1-hydroxypyrene levels were found between summer and winter surveys as well as between the sampling sites in the data set from 2004 (383 dabs and 62 flounders): Highest levels of PAH contamination were found in dab from the German Bight and in flounder from the Baltic Sea.Discussion. Spatial differences in 1-hydroxypyrene concentrations between North Sea and Baltic Sea were discussed, as well as differences in relation to season, sex and species. Three parameters of normalisation (biliary protein, biliverdin and bile pigments) were discussed. Biliverdin was identified as a suitable parameter for the normalisation of PAH metabolites in field samples.Conclusions. Spatial differences in 1-hydroxypyrene concentrations of dab demonstrate the usefulness of PAH metabolites in fish bile as a monitoring parameter in marine regions. Significant differences in 1-hydroxypyrene concentrations were found between summer and winter sampling campaigns. This may be linked to an annual cycle of 1-hydroxyprene in dab. It is also possible that bile synthesis/release in dab differs between the seasons. There is no indication for a time trend from 1997 to 2004.Recommendations and Perspectives. It is recommended to relate PAH metabolites in fish bile to biliverdin concentrations. Although the concentrations are low in offshore regions and bile volumes are small, the method presented here allows one to measure PAH metabolites on an individual level which is a crucial prerequisite for meaningful monitoring studies.

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Accession: 013259793

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PMID: 17455819


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