Mitochondria-rich cells changes induced by nitrite exposure in tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum Cuvier, 1818)


An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.




ABSTRACT The gill mitochondria-rich cells of the juvenile Amazonian fish Colossoma macropomum were analyzed using light and scanning and transmission electron microscopy after 96 h exposure to 0.04 and 0.2 mM nitrite. Although the number of mitochondria-rich cells decreased significantly in the lamellar epithelium, no decrease was found in the interlamellar region of the gill filament. Nitrite exposure caused significant reduction on the apical surface area of individual mitochondria-rich cells (p < 0.05), with a resulting reduction of the fractional area of these cells in both the lamellar and filament epithelium. Swelling of endoplasmic reticulum cisternae, nuclear envelope and mitochondria were the main changes found in the mitochondria-rich cells. Cristae lysis and matrix vacuolization characterized the mitochondrial changes. The overall ultrastructural changes indicated cellular functional disruption caused by exposure to nitrite. The changes observed in the gill indicate that the cellular structures involved in the process of energy production become severely damaged by exposure to nitrite indicating irreversible damage conducting to cell death.

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