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PCBs and the energy cost of migration in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.)
van Ginneken, V.; Palstra, A.; Leonards, P.; Nieveen, M.; Van den Berg, H.; Flik, G.; Spanings, T.; Niemantsverdriet, P.; van den Thillart, G.; Murk, A. (2009). PCBs and the energy cost of migration in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.). Aquat. Toxicol. 92(4): 213-220.
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X; e-ISSN 1879-1514, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Behaviour > Migration
    Organisms > Aquatic organisms > Animals > Aquatic animals > Marine animals > Fishes > Aquatic animals > Marine fishes > Osteichthyes > Eels
    Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Eel decline; PCBs; Migration; Metabolic rate; Cortisol; Immune function

Authors  Top 
  • van Ginneken, V.
  • Palstra, A., more
  • Leonards, P.
  • Nieveen, M.
  • Van den Berg, H.
  • Flik, G.
  • Spanings, T.
  • Niemantsverdriet, P.
  • van den Thillart, G.
  • Murk, A.

    The effect of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the energy consumption of fasting silver European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) was studied over a 27-day period during which the animals were at rest or were swimming 800 km in Blazka swim tunnels. Three-year-old female hatchery eels (silver stage) between 73 and 80 cm long weighing around 1 kg were dosed intraperitoneally with PCBs at a nominal dosage of 10× the consumption standard as a mixture representative for planar (7 µg PCB126/kg eel), non-planar (5 mg PCB153/kg eel) and metabolizable PCBs (50 µg PCB77/kg eel) found in wild eel, or only with the vehicle (corn oil, 10 ml/kg eel). Four major observations were made: (1) PCB-exposed animals lose less weight compared to their unexposed controls; (2) PCB-concentrations on a lipid basis are 2.8–14 times higher in swimming compared to resting animals; (3) the standard metabolic rate is significantly lower in the PCB-exposed animals than in unexposed controls. In addition, PCB-exposure significantly reduces oxygen consumption during swimming, and starting at 400 km (18 days) this effect increases with time; (4) the relative spleen and liver weight significantly increased in the PCB-swim animals but not in the PCB-rest animals. The swimming animals lost about 75% more weight compared to resting animals and had about 50% lower plasma fat content. Hematocrit, haemoglobin, plasma pH, ion levels (sodium and potassium), and plasma lactate were not affected by PCB-exposure or swimming. Apparently, the current levels of PCBs and other dioxin-like compounds may seriously impair the reproduction of the European eel.

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