Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Mortality, Oxidative Stress and Hepatotoxicity in Juvenile African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus Burchell, Exposed to Lead and Cypermethrin


In this study, juvenile catfish (Clarias gariepinus) were exposed to 2 mg/L Pb, 0.5 μg/L cypermethrin, or both for 96 h. Survival ranged from 100 % in both treatments without cypermethrin, to 50 % in fish exposed to cypermethrin only or the mixture. There were significant decreases in liver lysozyme, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, and alanine aminotransferase activities in fish exposed to cypermethrin or the mixture. Liver aspartate aminotransferase activity (AST) showed a significant reduction after exposure to Pb or cypermethrin alone, and the effect of the mixture on AST was additive or potentially synergistic. Liver lipid peroxidation (LPO) was increased in fish exposed to the mixture compared to those exposed to cypermethrin only, indicating that Pb presence enhanced LPO caused by cypermethrin. Our study demonstrates the potential for toxic interaction between Pb and cypermethrin in fish and suggests that due to the varying responses to contaminant mixtures in our study, researchers should consider using a variety of biomarkers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. Adeyemi JA, Klerks PL (2013) Occurrence of copper acclimation in the least killifish Heterandria formosa, and associated biochemical and physiological mechanisms. Aquat Toxicol 130–131:51–57

  2. Adham KG (2002) Sublethal effects of aquatic pollution in Lake Maryut on the African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822). J Appl Ichthyol 18:87–94

  3. Altenburger R, Greco WR (2009) Extrapolation concepts for dealing with multiple contamination in environmental risk assessment. Integr Environ Assess Manag 5:62–68

  4. Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein–dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254

  5. Brüschweiler BJ, Würgler FE, Fent K (1996) Inhibitory effects of heavy metals on cytochrome P4501A induction in permanent fish hepatoma cells. Arch Environ Con Tox 31:475–482

  6. Campana O, Sarasquete C, Blasco J (2003) Effect of lead on ALA-D activity, metallothionein levels, and lipid peroxidation in blood, kidney, and liver of the toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 55:116–125

  7. Çoğun HY, Şahin M (2013) The effect of lead and zeolite on hematological and some biochemical parameters in Nile fish (Oreochromis niloticus). Curr Prog Biolog Res. doi:10.5772/53076

  8. David M, Mushigeri SB, Shivakumar R, Philip GH (2004) Response of Cyprinus carpio (Linn) to sublethal concentration of cypermethrin: alterations in protein metabolic profiles. Chemosphere 56:347–352

  9. Dorts J, Silvestre F, Tu HT, Tyberghein A, Phuong NT, Kestemont P (2009) Oxidative stress, protein carbonylation and heat shock proteins in the black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, following exposure to endosulfan and deltamethrin. Environ Toxicol Phamacol 28:302–310

  10. Fırat O, Çoğun HY, Yüzereroğlu TA, Gök G, Fırat O, Kargin F, Kötemen Y (2011) A comparative study on the effects of a pesticide (cypermethrin) and two metals (copper, lead) to serum biochemistry of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Fish Physiol Biochem 37:657–666

  11. Jee JH, Masroor F, Kang JC (2005) Responses of cypermethrin-induced stress in haematological parameters of Korean rockfish, Sebastes schlegeli (Hilgendorf). Aquacult Res 36:898–905

  12. Keillor JW, Castonguay R, Lherbet C (2005) Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism. Method Enzymol 401:449–467

  13. Kelderman P, Osman AA (2007) Effect of redox potential on heavy metal binding forms in polluted canal sediments in Delft (The Netherlands). Water Res 41:4251–4261

  14. Khidr BM, Mekkawy IAA, Harabawy ASA, Ohaida AM (2012) Effect of lead nitrate on the liver of the cichlid fish (Oreochromis niloticus): a light microscope study. Pakistan J Biolog Sci 15:854–862

  15. Kumar A, Sharma B, Pandey RS (2011) Cypermethrin induced alterations in nitrogen metabolism in freshwater fishes. Chemosphere 83:492–501

  16. McCarty LS, Borgert CJ (2006) Review of the toxicity of chemical mixtures: theory, policy, and regulatory practice. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 45:119–143

  17. Moore A, Waring CP (2001) The effects of a synthetic pyrethroid pesticide on some aspects of reproduction in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Aquat Toxicol 52:1–12

  18. Novo EE, Parola M (2012) The role of redox mechanisms in hepatic chronic wound healing and fibrogenesis. Fibrog Tissue Repair 5(Suppl 1):S4

  19. Reddy PM, Bashamohideen M (1995) Alterations in protein metabolism in selected tissues of fish, Cyprinus carpio, during sublethal concentration of cypermethrin. Environ Monit Assess 36:183–190

  20. Reitman S, Frankel S (1957) A colorimetric method for the determination of serum glutamic oxalacetic and glutamic pyruvic transaminases. Am J Clin Pathol 28:56–63

  21. Saha S, Kaviraj A (2003) Acute toxicity of synthetic pyrethroid cypermethrin to freshwater catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch). Int J Toxicol 22:325–328

  22. Suvetha L, Ramesh M, Saravanan M (2010) Influence of cypermethrin toxicity on ionic regulation and gill Na+/K+-ATPase activity of a freshwater teleost fish Cyprinus carpio. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 29:44–49

  23. Szasz G (1969) A kinetic photometric method for serum γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Clin Chem 15:124–136

  24. Tejeda-Vera R, López-López E, Sedeño-Díaz JE (2007) Biomarkers and bioindicators of the health condition of Ameca splendens and Goodea atripinnis (Pisces: goodeidae) in the Ameca River, Mexico. Environ Int 33:521–531

  25. Üner N, Oruç EÖ, Canli M, Sevgler Y (2001) Effects of cypermethrin on antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation in liver and kidney of the freshwater fish, Oreochromis niloticus and Cyprinus carpio (L.). Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 67:657–664

  26. Zaki MM, Eissa AE, Saeid S (2011) Assessment of the immune status in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) experimentally challenged with toxogenic/septicemic bacteria during treatment trial with Florfenicol and Enrofloxacin. World J Fish Mar Sci 3:21–36

Download references


We are grateful to Mr. O. O. Oyedara for assistance with fish handling and maintenance, and to Paul L. Klerks for helpful comments on the manuscript. Financial assistance for the work was provided through an AGNES grant awarded to Joseph Adeyemi by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Author information

Correspondence to Andrew Y. Oguma.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Adeyemi, J.A., Adewale, O.O. & Oguma, A.Y. Mortality, Oxidative Stress and Hepatotoxicity in Juvenile African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus Burchell, Exposed to Lead and Cypermethrin. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 92, 529–533 (2014).

Download citation


  • Multiple stressors
  • Biomarkers
  • Interactions
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Clarias gariepinus