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Impairment of lipid storage by cadmium in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla)
Pierron, F.; Baudrimont, M.; Bossy, A.; Bourdineaud, J.-P.; Brèthes, D.; Elie, P.; Massabuau, J.-C. (2007). Impairment of lipid storage by cadmium in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Aquat. Toxicol. 81(3): 304-311.
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Fresh water
Author keywords
    Anguilla anguilla; cadmium; lipid storage; yellow eel stage

Authors  Top 
  • Pierron, F.
  • Baudrimont, M.
  • Bossy, A.
  • Bourdineaud, J.-P.
  • Brèthes, D.
  • Elie, P.
  • Massabuau, J.-C.

    Because European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla) fast during their reproductive migration to the Sargasso Sea, the successful completion of their unusual life cycle depends on quantity of lipids stored beforehand. These lipids are mainly accumulated during the growth phase stage of the animals, called yellow eel, as triglycerides in muscle. They are then catabolized to provide sufficient energy to enable migration, gonad maturation and spawning. In the laboratory, we investigated the possible impact of cadmium on the lipid storage efficiency of yellow eels in order to evaluate the possible contribution of this pollutant to the reported decline of European eel populations. Eels were exposed to dissolved cadmium at nominal concentrations of 0 and 5 μg L−1 for 1 month. Cd toxicity was then examined by studying the activity and expression level of several enzymes involved in liver lipolysis and lipogenesis and by determining lipid content in muscle. Contaminated eels showed a lower body weight growth with a lower efficiency of lipid storage compared to controls. Using two complementary approaches, genetic and enzymatic, it was possible to conclude that this impairment is mainly explained by an increased utilisation of triglycerides since cadmium contamination did not trigger a reduced fatty acid synthesis. These observations suggest an increased fat consumption in presence of cadmium, which could compromise successful reproduction.

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