Aggregation of hepatic melanomacrophage centers in S. herzbergii (Pisces, Ariidae) as indicators of environmental change and well-being
ABSTRACT The melanomacrophage centers (MMCs) in the liver of fish are indicators of environmental conditions, as they are involved in xenobiotic biotransformation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the number of MMC in the liver of juveniles and adults of Sciades herzbergii from areas with different levels of contamination. The fish were caught at three points (reference - A1, potentially impacted - A2 and contaminated - A3), in São José bay (Maranhão, Brazil), in four samples. The livers were subjected to the standard histological procedure and 5μm sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin. In livers of A2 adult individuals (260.50±161.50 MMCs / mm²) they presented a greater number of MMCs when compared to A3 adults (60.00 ± 30.10 MMCs / mm²). Juveniles showed considerable values in A1 (100.00 ± 0.00 MMCs/mm²) and A2 (95.33 ± 33.00 MMCs / mm²) compared to juveniles in A3 (49.00±0.00 MMCs/mm²). These high values are unexpected for young people. The average number of MMC correlated with the rainy season in the region. The use of hepatic MMCs as a biomarker of exposure to pollutants, in particular substances from fisheries systems, such as ammonia and nitrite, proved to be adequate to differentiate areas with different levels of impacts.