Biomarkers assessment in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo exposed to cadmium

Azza Naïja, Justine Marchand, Patrick Kestemont, Zohra Haouas, Ronny Blust, Benoit Chénais, Ahmed Noureddine Helal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic metals and is widely distributed in freshwater and marine environments. It has received much attention from a toxicological perspective. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Cd in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo, a species of the family of blennies that was used as bioindicator of water pollution. We performed a sublethal contamination of fish to 2 mg CdCl2 L−1 during 1, 4, 10, and 15 days. Cd accumulation was measured in gills and liver and displayed a significant increase of its concentration throughout the experiment, with slightly higher levels in the liver, except after 4 days. Partial-length cDNA of mt1, mt2, mnsod, cuznsod, cat, and gpx were characterized. Results from mRNA expression levels displayed an up-regulation of mt2 and mnsod. Biomarker activities were determined in gills and liver. In gills, data displayed an inhibition of EROD and GST activities. Cd exposure significantly increased GPx activities but did not affect CAT levels throughout the experiment. No LPO induction was observed in gills of exposed fish. Regarding the liver, the activity of all enzymes and MDA levels increased significantly from the beginning of the experiment except EROD that increased after 15 days of contamination only. At the histological level, fish exhibited pathological symptoms in gills and liver with a predominance of circulatory disturbances in gills and regressive changes in the liver. Our results displayed that peacock blennies are able to survive Cd toxicity due to various physiological adaptation mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Biomarkers
  • Cd accumulation
  • CdCl
  • Enzyme activity
  • Histopathology
  • Peacock blenny
  • Salaria pavo
  • Transcript levels


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