Biochemical responses in armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys anisitsi) after short-term exposure to diesel oil, pure biodiesel and biodiesel blends

Lílian Nogueira, Danilo Grünig Humberto da Silva, Thiago Yukio Kikuchi Oliveira, Joel Maurício Correa da Rosa, Andréia Arantes Felício, Eduardo Alves de Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Biodiesel fuel is gradually replacing petroleum-based diesel oil use. Despite the biodiesel being considered friendlier to the environment, little is known about its effects in aquatic organisms. In this work we evaluated whether biodiesel exposure can affect oxidative stress parameters and biotransformation enzymes in armored catfish (Pterygoplichthys anisitsi, Loricariidae), a South American endemic species. Thus, fish were exposed for 2 and 7d to 0.01mLL-1 and 0.1mLL-1 of pure diesel, pure biodiesel (B100) and blends of diesel with 5% (B5) and 20% (B20) biodiesel. Lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde) levels and the activities of the enzymes glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase were measured in liver and gills. Also, DNA damage (8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine) levels in gills and 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity in liver were assessed. Pure diesel, B5 and B20 blends changed most of the enzymes tested and in some cases, B5 and B20 induced a higher enzyme activity than pure diesel. Antioxidant system activation in P. anisitsi was effective to counteract reactive oxygen species effects, since DNA damage and lipid peroxidation levels were maintained at basal levels after all treatments. However, fish gills exposed to B20 and B100 presented increased lipid peroxidation. Despite biodiesel being more biodegradable fuel that emits less greenhouse gases, the increased lipid peroxidation showed that biofuel and its blends also represent hazards to aquatic biota.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiesel
  • Biomarker
  • Diesel oil
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pterygoplichthys anisitsi


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