Metals as a cause of oxidative stress in fish: a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/4272-VETMEDCitation:Sevcikova M., Modra H., Slaninova A., Svobodova Z. (2011):  Metals as a cause of oxidative stress in fish: a review. Veterinarni Medicina, 56: 537-546.
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This review summarizes the current knowledge on the contribution of metals to the development of oxidative stress in fish. Metals are important inducers of oxidative stress in aquatic organisms, promoting formation of reactive oxygen species through two mechanisms. Redox active metals generate reactive oxygen species through redox cycling, while metals without redox potential impair antioxidant defences, especially that of thiol-containing antioxidants and enzymes. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species lead to oxidative damage including lipid peroxidation, protein and DNA oxidation, and enzyme inactivation. Antioxidant defences include the enzyme system and low molecular weight antioxidants. Metal-binding proteins, such as ferritin, ceruloplasmin and metallothioneins, have special functions in the detoxification of toxic metals and also play a role in the metabolism and homeostasis of essential metals. Recent studies of metallothioneins as biomarkers indicate that quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of metallothionein genes can be appropriate in cases with elevated levels of metals and no evidence of oxidative damage in fish tissue. Components of the antioxidant defence are used as biochemical markers of oxidative stress. These markers may be manifested differently in the field than in results found in laboratory studies. A complex approach should be taken in field studies of metal contamination of the aquatic environment.  
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