Assessment of the European flounder responses to chemical stress in the English Channel, considering biomarkers and life history traits

Mar Pollut Bull. 2015 Jun 30;95(2):634-45. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.11.033. Epub 2014 Dec 8.


A multi-biomarker approach was developed to evaluate responses of European flounder (Platichthys flesus) in three contrasted estuaries over the English Channel: the Canche (pristine site), Tamar (heavy metals and PAHs contamination) and Seine (heavily pollution with a complex cocktail of contaminants). The condition factor and several biomarkers of the immune system, antioxidant enzymes, energetic metabolism and detoxification processes were investigated in young-of-the-year (0+) and one-year-old (1+) flounder. Results underlined the difference between the pristine site and the Seine estuary which showed a lower condition factor, a modulation of the immune system, a higher Cytochrome C oxidase activity, and an up-regulation of BHMT expression. The moderate biomarker responses in the Tamar fish could be linked to the specific contamination context of this estuary. Flounder life history traits were analyzed by otolith microchemistry, in order to depict how the fish use their habitat and thus respond to chemical stress in estuaries.

Keywords: Estuaries; Fish; Gene expression; Immunotoxicity; Life-history traits; Pollution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Estuaries
  • Europe
  • Flounder / metabolism
  • Flounder / physiology*
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy / metabolism
  • Metals, Heavy / toxicity
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / metabolism
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / toxicity
  • Up-Regulation
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity


  • Biomarkers
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical