Alterations in histology and antioxidant defense system in the testes of the lake Van fish (Alburnus tarichi Güldenstädt, 1814)

Environ Monit Assess. 2016 Aug;188(8):474. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5476-z. Epub 2016 Jul 19.


Recent reports have demonstrated gonadal abnormalities in the Lake Van fish (Alburnus tarichi) from Lake Van caused by increasing pollution. In the present study, the fish was collected from an area of Lake Van receiving mainly sewage treatment plant effluent at prespawning period (April) and from a river (Karasu) which is close to the polluted area of the lake and where the fish migrates at spawning period (May). Collected specimens were examined for testicular alterations, gonadosomatic index (GSI), condition factor (CF), and antioxidant defense system biomarkers based on comparison with a reference lake (Erçek) and a reference freshwater inlet (Memedik River). Histological examinations of the testes of fish from the polluted area and the connected river showed various alterations consisting of macrophage aggregates, vacuolation, pyknosis, germ cell degeneration, seminiferous tubule dilation, disorganization of tubules, reduced spermatozoa, and fibrosis. A lower GSI and CF were also observed. Moreover, alterations in the antioxidant system biomarkers were determined in the testis tissues of fish from the Lake Van and Karasu River, indicating oxidative stress. These results suggest that the abnormalities in the testes are causally related to the increased oxidative stress, and pollution in Lake Van may have adversely affected the reproductive health of the lake Van fish.

Keywords: Alburnus tarichi; Histological alterations; Lake Van basin; Oxidative stress; Testes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cyprinidae / growth & development*
  • Cyprinidae / metabolism
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Lakes / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rivers / chemistry
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / enzymology
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Turkey
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical