Author(s): Ghosh D, Datta S, Bhattacharya S, Mazumder S
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Abstract The present study was aimed at determining the effects of long-term arsenic exposure on the head kidney (HK) and ensuing humoral immune responses in Clarias batrachus L. Long-term exposure (150 days) to non-lethal concentrations of arsenic (42.42 microM) resulted in significant time-dependent alterations in HK cell number eventually affecting the HK somatic index. Prolonged exposure to arsenic also suppressed HK-B cell proliferation and led to significant reduction in serum immunoglobulin levels and antigen-specific serum bacterial agglutinin titers. A decline in the number of antigen-specific plaque-forming cells with duration of arsenic exposure was noted in the HK. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays further revealed that arsenic exposure inhibited the release of "IL-4 like factors" from HK-T cells. Histological studies documented time-dependent changes in the structure and cellular composition of HK characterized by extensive lymphocytopenia, decrease in melano-macrophage population and hemosiderin accumulation. From exposure-challenge studies with Aeromonas hydrophila it was evident that pathogens could efficiently disseminate and colonize distant host tissues in the exposed fish. Moreover, the ability to decrease the pathogen load was also significantly reduced in the arsenic-exposed fish. Thus long-term exposure to non-lethal concentrations of arsenic affects HK and interferes with the humoral immune system of C. batrachus rendering them immunocompromised and susceptible to pathogenic challenge.
This article was published in Aquat Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development