Abstract

Fish and other aquatic biota are hampered by mixtures of pesticides which pollute natural water through agricultural runoff and other sources. Toxicity of combined exposures of endosulfan and imidacloprid on zebrafish in terms of oxidative stress and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage in liver and histological alterations in gills and muscles was investigated. Zebrafish were exposed to three different sub-lethal concentrations of endosulfan and imidacloprid along with control selected for each treatment for 21 days: control treatment (CT), treatment 1 (T1), treatment 2 (T2) and treatment 3 (T3). T1, T2 and T3 groups were exposed to 0.1, 0.5 and 1 μg/L of endosulfan, respectively, while imidacloprid concentration was maintained at 1 ppm in all three treatments. Oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring levels of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA). Comet assay was applied to measure degree of DNA damage. Dose- and time-dependent decrease in SOD and CAT activity was observed after 21 days of exposure while low concentrations of pesticides induced SOD and CAT activities after early exposure to reduce the oxidative stress. MDA content was found to be increased in T3 having high concentrations of pesticides. Substantial increase in DNA damage was noticed after 21 days exposure of pesticides. Significant morphological changes were observed in gills relative to muscles.

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