Effect of Heavy Metals Pollution on Protein Biosynthesis in Catfish


The present study was carried out to evaluate the pollution and its effect on the quality of catfish. Four sites in Eygpt were chosen for the research, Ras El-Bar (Site 1) as control, Shatta (Site 2), Kafr El-Bateekh (Site 3), and Talkha (Site 4). The research was carried out on water, sediments and catfish (serum and muscles). Nitrite, nitrate and ammonia were determined in water and sediment. Also, RNA and DNA were determined in serum samples and the muscles of the catfish. In addition, the concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Fe, Zn and Cu) were estimated in water, sediments and the muscles of catfish. Also, hepatosomatic index, liver water content, condition factor, lipid and protein contents were determined in the fish. The concentrations of nitrite, nitrate and ammonia in water and sediment of Site 4 and the levels of heavy metals especially Pb and Cd in water, sediment and muscle of catfish from Sites 3 and 4 were highly elevated compared to those of the control. On the other hand, DNA, RNA and protein contents in the catfish of Sites 3 and 4 decreased. The results illustrated that, Cd and Pb levels in the muscle of catfish were negatively correlated with DNA, RNA and with the protein contents. In conclusion, the accumulation of heavy metals in catfish tissues therefore, can cause health problems in human after catfish intake.

Share and Cite:

S. Habib and A. Samah, "Effect of Heavy Metals Pollution on Protein Biosynthesis in Catfish," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 5, 2013, pp. 555-562. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.55056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. H. I. Mohammed, “Biochemical Studies on the Effect of Pollution on the Fish Production in Dakhlia and Damietta,” Master Thesis, Fac., Agric. Man., University, Egypt, 1999.
[2] V. Rodríguez, D. A. de Cárcer, V. Loza, E. Perona and P. Mateo, “A Molecular Fingerprint Technique to Detect Pollution-Related Changes in River Cyanobacterial Diversity,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2007, pp. 464-468. doi:10.2134/jeq2006.0190SC
[3] M. F. I. Salem, “Effect of Cadmium, Copper and Lead Contamination on Growth Performance and Chemical Composition of Nile Tilapia,” Mansoura University Journal of Agricultural Sciences, Vol. 28, 2003, pp. 7209-7222.
[4] S. T. Tong and S. Naramngam, “Modeling the Impacts of Farming Practices on Water Quality in the Little Miami River Basin,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 39, No. 6, 2007, pp. 853-866. doi:10.1007/s00267-006-0307-6
[5] L. Goldfrank, N. Fomenbaum, N. Lewin, R. Weisman and M. Howland, “Toxicological Emergencies,” 5th Edition, Prentice Hall International, Inc., Upper Saddle River, 2001.
[6] J. F. Klaverkamp, W. A. Macdonald, D. A. Duncan and R. Wagmann, “Metallothionein and Acclimination to Heavy metals in Fish,” In: V. W. Cairs, P. V. Hodson and J. O. Nriogu, Eds., Contaminants Effects on Fisheries. A re- view. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, 1984, p. 99.
[7] G. Carbonell, C. Ramos and J. V. Tarazona, “Metals in Shrimp from Gulf of Fonseca Central America,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 60, No. 2, 1998, pp. 252-259. doi:10.1007/s001289900618
[8] P. C. Mishra, P. C. Behera and R. K. Patel, “Contamination of Water Due to Major Industries and Open Refuse Dumping in the Steel City of Orissa a Case Study,” Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, Vol. 47, No. 2, 2005, pp. 141-154.
[9] H. H. Abbas, “Effect of Lead on Some Physiological Aspects of Nile Tilapia; Oreochromis niloticus,” M.Sc. Thesis, Cairo University, Cairo, 1994.
[10] A. S. Abou-El-Ezz and S. Abdel-Razeq, “Heavy Metals Accumulation in the Tilapia Nilotica L., and in the Water of Lake EL-Manzalah,” Egyptian Journal of Applied Science, Vol. 6, No. 6, 1991, pp. 37-52.
[11] A. M. Abdelhamid and S. A. El-Ayouty, “Effect on Catfish (Clarias lazera) Composition of Ingestion Rearing Water Contaminated with Lead or Aluminum Compounds,” Archiv für Tierern?hr, Vol. 41, No. 7-8, 1991, pp. 757-763.
[12] M. S. Ayyat, M. S. Safaa, S. A. Fayza and H. I. El-Marakby, “Reduction of Dietary Lead Toxicity in Nile Tilapia,” Egyptian Journal of Nutrition and Feeds, Vol. 6, 2004, pp. 419-431.
[13] S. J. Flora, G. Flora, G. Saxena and M. Mishra, “Arsenic and Lead Induced Free Radical Generation and Their Reversibility Following Chelating,” Cell and Molecular Biology, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2007, pp. 26-47.
[14] A. W. Hayes, “Priciples and Methods of Toxicology,” 3rd Edition, Raven Press Ltd., New York, 1994.
[15] B. S. Mohan and B. B. Hosetti, “Phytotoxicity of Cadmium on the Physiological Dynamics of Salvinia natans L. Grown in Macrophyte Ponds,” Journal of Environmental Biology, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2006, pp. 701-704.
[16] R. I. El Fayoumi, “Studies on physiological changes Induced in Some Egyptian Fishes by Some Ecological Factors and the Gill Parasites,” Ph.D. Thesis, Mansoura Un- versity, Mansoura, 2000.
[17] C. A. Black, “Methods of Soil Analysis,” Soil Science Society of America, Medison, 1965.
[18] D. L. Heans, “Determination of Nitrite in Soil and Water by Adoption of the Orange,” Method Analyst (London), Vol. 100, 1975, pp. 316-321.
[19] A. Merck, “Medico-Chemical Investigation Methods,” 11th Edition, Dormstadt, 1974.
[20] F. Rosner and P. C. Gorfien, “Erythrocytes and Plasma Zinc and Magnesium Levels in Health and,” 1968.
[21] V. D. Sidwell, B. R. Stillings and G. M. Knobel, “The Fish Protein Concentration. Nutritional Quality and Use in Foods,” Journal of Food Technology, Vol. 14, No. 8, 1970, pp. 40-46.
[22] V. Kohla, “Hepatologische Veranerungen Bei Jumgen Colossoma Macropmum in Abhngigkeit Unerschiedicher. Fattermittel and Wahrend Einer Mehr Wochigen Hungerphase,” Diplomarbit unv. Hamburg, 1988, pp. 320- 324.
[23] AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists), “Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical,” 13th Edition, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Inc., 1984.
[24] T. Peters, “Determination of Total Serum Protein,” Clinical Chemistry, Vol. 14, 1968, pp. 1147-1152.
[25] W. Keith and W. John, “Principles and Techniques,” In: Practical Biochemistry, Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1994, p. 425.
[26] W. C. Schneider, G. N. Hogeboom and H. E. Ross, “The Distribution of Nucleic Acids and Adenosine Triphosphatase in Normal Mouse Liver and Mouse Hepatoma,” J. Inc. Cancer Inst., Vol. 10, 1950, pp. 977-980.
[27] L. Wang, Y. Wang, C. Xu, Z. An and S. Wang, “Analysis and Evaluation of the Source of Heavy Metals in Water of the River Changjiang,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 173, No. 1-4, 2011, pp. 301-313.
[28] A. M. Abdellhamid, “Field and Laboratory Analysis Animal Production,” Egyptian University, Cairo, 1996.
[29] O. M. Ali, “Study on the Pollution in EL-Manzalah Lake,” National Conference of the Environment of Lake EL-Manzalah, Posrsaid, 27-29 October 1991, pp. 14-17.
[30] S. Nayar, D. J. Miller, A. Hunt, B. P. Goh and L. M. Chou, “Environmental Effects of Dredging on Sediment Nutrients, Carbon and Granulometry in a Tropical Estuary,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 127, No. 1-3, 2007, pp. 1-13. doi:10.1007/s10661-006-9253-2
[31] M. A. Mohamed, M. M. Abd-Elaty, W. I. El-Shall, A. B. Ramadan and M. S. Tawfik, “Environmental Impacts of Cooling System on Abou Qir Bay,” The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association, Vol. 80, No. 5-6, 2005, pp. 585-605.
[32] A. M. Abdelhamid, “Scientific Fundamentals of Fish Production and Husbandry,” 2nd Edition, Mansoura University Press, 2003.
[33] G. Mance, “Pollution Threat of Heavy Metals in Aquatic Environments,” Elsevier Applied Science Publishers LTD, London and New York, 1987. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-3421-4
[34] FAO/WHO, “Codex Alimentarius Commission, Standard Programme Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminates,” 24th Session, Hague, 23-28 March 1992.
[35] K. H. Zaghloul, “Studies on the Effect of Water Pollution along Different Sites of the River Nile on the Survival and Production of Some Freshwater Fishes,” M.Sc. Thesis, Cairo University, Cairo, 1997.
[36] M. A. Zyadah, “A Study on Levels of Some Heavy Metals in River Nile Estuary—Damietta Branch,” Egypt. J. Egypt. Ger. Soc. Zool., Vol. 23, 1997, pp. 149-160.
[37] H. R. Chen, H. C. Yang, D. J. Hsieh, Z. Liu and K. J. Tsai, “Zebrafish sod1 and sp1 Expression Are Modulated by the Copper ATPase Gene atp7a in Response to Intracellular Copper Status,” Chemico-Biological Interactions, Vol. 189, No. 3, 2011, pp. 192-7doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2010.12.003
[38] A. A. Elewa, M. B. Shehata, A. M. Abdel Satar, M. H. H. Ali and M. E. Gohar, “Effect of the Drainage Water on Lake Qarun Ecosystem, Egypt,” 9th international Conference on the Conservation and Management of Lakes, 11-16 November 2001, pp. 108-125.
[39] M. E. Goher, “Chemical Studies on the Precipitation and Dissolution of Some Chemical Elements in Lake Qarun,” Ph.D. Thesis, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 2002.
[40] E. M. B. Sorensen, “Metal Poisoning in Fish,” Oxford and I. B. H Publishing Co. Bombay, 1991.
[41] G. N. Somero, T. J. Chow, P. H. Yancey and C. B. Snyder, “Lead Accumulation Rates in Tissues of the Estuarine Teleost Fish, Gillichthys Mirabilis: Salinity and Temperature Effects,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 6, No. 2-3, 1977, pp. 337-348. doi:10.1007/BF02097774
[42] E. R. Clark and J. A. L. Fraser, “The Survival and Growth of Six Species of Freshwater Fish, in Tap Water and Diluted and Undiluted Effluents from Sewage Percolating Filters,” Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 22, No. 4, 1983, pp. 431-445. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb04765.x
[43] A. M. Abdellhamid, “Scientific Fundamentals for Fish Production and Management,” Egyptian University, Cairo.
[44] A. M. Abdel Moneim, A. A. M. Khaled and M. F. Iskander, “A Study on the Levels of Some Heavy Metals in EL-Mex, West Alexandria, Egypt,” Proceedings of the 4th Conference of the Environment Protection, 10-12 May 1994, pp. 155-174.
[45] WHO (World Health Organization), “Guide Lines for Drinking Water Quality,” 3rd Edition, Geneva, 1984.
[46] Q. T. L. Dortch, J. R. Roberts, J. R. Clayton and S. I. Ahmed, “RNA/DNA Ratios and DNA Concentrations as Indicators of Growth Rate and Biomass in Planktonic Marine Organisms,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 13, 1983, pp. 61-71. doi:10.3354/meps013061
[47] F. J. Bulow, “RNA-DNA Ratios as Indicators of Growth in Fish: A Review,” In: R. C. Summerfelt and G. E. Hall, Eds., Age and Growth in Fish, Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1987, pp. 45-64.
[48] E. M. Mathers, D. F. Houlihan, I. D. McCarthy and L. J. Burren, “Rates of Growth and Protein Synthesis Correlated with Nucleic Acid Content in Fry of Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss: Effects of Age (Burchell 1822), Fed Diets with Varying Protein Concentrations,” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Vol. 88, No. 7-8, 1993, pp. 275-287.
[49] A. Muhammad, R. Iqbal, S. A. Rana, M. Athar and F. Iqbal, “Effect of Feed Cycling on Specific Growth Rate, Condition Factor and RNA/DNA Ratio of Labeo rohita,” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 5, No. 17, 2006, pp. 1551-1556.
[50] L. J. Buckley and F. J. Bulow, “Techniques for the estimation of RNA, DNA, and Protein in Fish,” In: R. C. Summerfelt and G. E. Hall, Eds., The Age and Growth of Fish, The Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1987, pp. 345-354.
[51] F. M. El-Demerdash and E. I. Elagamy, “Cadmium and Mercury,” International Journal of Environmental Health Research, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1999, pp. 173-186. doi:10.1080/09603129973146
[52] S. Demuynck, B. B. Muchembled, L. Delaffre, F. Grumiaux and A. Lepretre, “Stimulation by Cadmium of Myohemerythrin-Like Cells in the Gut of the Annelid Nereis Diversicolor,” The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 207, No. 7, 2004, pp. 1101-1111. doi:10.1242/jeb.00858
[53] A. H. Weatherey and H. S. Gill, “Relative Growth of Tissues at Different Somatic Growth Rates in Rainbow Trout, salmo gairdneri Richardson,” Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 22, No. 1, 1983, pp. 43-60. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb04725.x

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.