Cortisol stress response and histopathological alteration index in Clarias gariepinus exposed to sublethal concentrations of Qua Iboe crude oil and rig wash
The histological effect on and stress response of post juvenile Clarias gariepinus exposed to Qua Iboe crude oil and rig wash were investigated. Fish weighing 60–90 g and measuring 16–18 cm were exposed for 7–28 days to 8.00 ml−1 Qua Iboe crude oil and 0.0018 ml−1 rig wash, both being 0.1 of the 96 hr LC50. Blood samples of C. gariepinus were collected every seven days and evaluated for stress by measuring cortisol concentration. The gills and liver were studied and scored for Gill Alteration Index (GAI) and Hepatic Alteration Index (HAI), respectively. There was an increase in cortisol level up to the 7th and 14th day among the group exposed to Qua Iboe crude oil, with a decrease on the 21st and 28th day. The rig wash group increased in cortisol level up to the 7th day and decreased slightly on the 14th day, after which the trend became irregular. The toxic effects of the Qua Iboe crude oil and rig wash were time dependent, as shown by the histopathological alteration index (HAI) of gill and liver. After 28 days of exposure, the gills had irreparable damage due to high frequency of cellular necrosis and degeneration, whereas the liver had from moderate to severe damage due to the high frequency of cellular degeneration and inflammation. Qua Iboe crude oil and rig wash are both toxic to C. gariepinus, therefore their indiscriminate discharge to the environment must be discouraged.
Keywords: acute toxicity, cortisol, gill alteration index, hepatic alteration index, necrosis