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Waterborne zinc alters temporal dynamics of guppy Poecilia reticulata epidermal response to Gyrodactylus turnbulli (Monogenea)



Waterborne zinc alters temporal dynamics of guppy Poecilia reticulata epidermal response to Gyrodactylus turnbulli (Monogenea)



Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 98(2): 143-153



The present study assessed the histological changes in the epidermis of Poecilia reticulata induced by the combined effects of an ectoparasite Gyrodactylus turnbulli and differing concentrations of waterborne zinc (Zn). Infected guppies were exposed to 0, 15, 30, 60, or 120 µg Zn l-1 and monitored over 3 wk during the exponential increase in parasite numbers on the fish. The fish epidermis responded within 3 d to G. turnbulli infection with a rapid increase in epidermal thickness and a modest increase in number, but not size or composition, of mucous cells. In contrast, in the presence of combined waterborne Zn and infection, mucous cell numbers declined rapidly. As the parasite numbers increased, the epidermis remained thicker than normal, and the number and size of mucous cells decreased. The addition of Zn led to a dramatic thickening of the epidermis during the exponential growth of the parasite population. Mucous cell numbers remained depressed. Temporal changes in mucous cell size were Zn concentration dependent. At 60 µg Zn l-1, cells returned to normal size as infection progressed, whereas they remained extremely small at 120 µg Zn l-1. Changes in mucin composition previously reported in response to Zn alone were subdued in the presence of the parasite except at 60 µg Zn l-1, where all cells contained only acidic mucins. Together these results demonstrate that, on exposure to both Zn and G. turnbulli infection, the epidermal response is initially a protective response to both stressors, and then mainly driven by the increased parasite burden.

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Accession: 056905034

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22436462

DOI: 10.3354/dao02434


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