Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 969–981 | Cite as

Hepatotoxic responses of 4-nonylphenol on African catfish (Clarias gariepinus): antixoidant and histochemical biomarkers

  • Mahmoud Abd-Elkareem
  • Nasser S. Abou Khalil
  • Alaa H. Sayed


4-Nonylphenol (NP) toxicity in fish attracts much attention due to its ability in targeting several organs; however, the researches regarding its potential hepatotoxicity are conflicting and still require further investigation. Therefore, the objective of this study is to focus on this issue from the histophysiological point of view using NP intoxicated African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as a model of hepatotoxicity. Twelve adult fish (6 per group) were divided into two groups; the first was considered as a control and the second was exposed to NP dissolved in water at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg BW for 3 weeks. A significant reduction in the hepatic alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase levels was observed in NP-exposed fish. Concerning the oxidant/antioxidant balance, a significant depletion in superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase was found along with a significant elevation in total peroxide and malondialdhyde. The histopathological examination of the hepatic tissues revealed that NP had marked hepatotoxic effects including hepatitis, centrilobular and focal hydropic and fatty degeneration, fatty change (steatosis), hepatic coagulative necrosis, and nuclear alterations in addition to apoptosis of hepatocytes and necrosis of endothelial cells. Depletion of the glycogen and increased in pigments (lipofuscin and hemosiderin) content in the hepatocytes were also recorded. Hemosiderosis and proliferation of the connective tissue around the blood vessels and branches of bile ducts and in the portal areas were also observed. In light of these findings, it was concluded that NP has a well-defined hepatotoxic impact paving the road towards other studies to investigate other detrimental cyto-physiological influences of this aquatic pollutant.


Liver 4-NP Hemosiderin Apoptosis Lactate dehydrogenase MMCs 

Supplementary material

10695_2018_485_Fig9_ESM.gif (177 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

Photomicrograph of paraffin sections illustrated the hepatotoxic effects of NP on Clarias gariepinus. a Showed congested blood vessels (C), inflammatory leucocytic infiltrations (L), and melanomacrophage center (MMC). b Showed congested blood vessels (C), inflammatory leucocytic infiltrations near the melanomacrophage center (MMC), and coagulative necrosis (CN). Original magnification, a, b × 200, scale bar = 100 μm, Hematoxylin and Eosin stain (GIF 176 kb)

10695_2018_485_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1.2 mb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 1234 kb)
10695_2018_485_Fig10_ESM.gif (207 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2

Photomicrograph of paraffin sections illustrated the hepatotoxic effects of NP on Clarias gariepinus. a Showed apoptotic hepatocyte (arrow head) and melanomacrophage centers (MMC) which were formed of aggregates of macrophages (arrow) filled with pigments (brown color). b Showed hyalinized blood vessels (HBV), endothelial cells of blood vessels (arrow head), degenerated blood vessel (DBV), necrotic endothelial cells of blood vessels (arrow), and hepatocyte filled with lipofuscin pigments (forked tail arrow). Original magnification, a, b × 400, scale bar = 50 μm, Hematoxylin and Eosin stain (GIF 207 kb)

10695_2018_485_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1.6 mb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 1624 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Abd-Elkareem
    • 1
  • Nasser S. Abou Khalil
    • 2
  • Alaa H. Sayed
    • 3
  1. 1.Anatomy, Histology and Embryology Department, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt
  2. 2.Medical Physiology Department, Faculty of MedicineAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt
  3. 3.Zoology Department, Faculty of ScienceAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt

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