Impact of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on the immune function of fish: Age as a variable in determining adverse outcome

J. E. Duffy, E. Carlson, Y. Li, C. Prophete, J. T. Zelikoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a major contaminant of global extent in water resources and aquatic biota. Due to its high lipid solubility, PCBs fail to be degraded and, therefore, continue to bioaccumulate throughout the environment and food chain. To determine the impact of PCBs on the immune system of aged and juvenile Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes), fish were injected with the coplanar PCB congener 126 and examined after 3 and 14 days. PCB 126 produced oxidative stress in both age groups of fish 14 days post-injection; however, juvenile medaka appeared more susceptible than aged fish. Humoral immunity, as determined by antibody forming cell (AFC) numbers, was significantly depressed for up to 14 days post-injection in both age groups. These results demonstrate the sensitivity of the fish immune response for predicting PCB-induced immunotoxicity and identify age as a variable in determining adverse outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-563
Number of pages5
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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