Influence of chronic exposure to treated sewage ...



Title Influence of chronic exposure to treated sewage effluent on the distribution of white blood cell populations in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) spleen
Author(s) B. Hoeger, B. Koellner, G. Kotterba, Michael R. van den Heuvel, B. Hitzfeld, D. R. Dietrich
Journal Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology
Date 2004
Volume 82
Issue 1
Start page 97
End page 105
Abstract Impairment of immune function in aquatic animals has been proposed as a possible consequence of low-level contamination of surface waters with anthropogenic substances such as through the discharge of wastewater into rivers, lakes, and oceans. The study at hand investigated the effects of chronic (32 weeks) exposure to sewage treatment plant (STP) effluent on the prevalence and distribution of different leucocyte populations in spleen samples of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). To simulate an infection, fish were injected intraperitoneally (ip) with inactivated Aeromonas salmonicida salmonicida, 6 weeks prior to the termination of the experiment. Immunohistological analysis revealed a marked decrease in thrombocyte numbers, an increase of monocytes, altered distribution of B-cells, and higher surface immunoglobulin expression, as well as activation of MHC class II expression in the spleen after exposure to 15% (v/v) effluent. The most prominent finding of the present study, however, was the occurrence of intraplasmatic deposits or inclusions with strong autofluorescence in spleen sections from effluent-exposed trout. In addition to effluent effects, injection of trout with A. salmonicida stimulated infiltration of monocytes, increased staining intensity on thrombocytes, and enhanced MHC class I expression in larger leucocytes surrounding melanomacrophage centres. In general, the current study demonstrates a marked, potentially adverse effect of STP effluent on spleen leucocytes and on the integrity of spleen tissue. The observed response suggests a constant unspecific stimulation of different leucocyte populations and is reminiscent of chronic inflammation.
DOI 10.1093/toxsci/kfh250

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