Behavioural and biochemical changes in Channa punctatus Exposed to Arsenic and its Possible Revival with Turmeric
Kokila Patowary, Dr. Mamata Goswami
Arsenic is a moderately abundant element on the earth’s crust released into the environment through both geogenic processes and anthropogenic disturbances. A high concentration of arsenic has been found in many areas of Assam which is a great matter of concern. The freshwater bodies are the main source of storage of arsenic and the rising levels of arsenicals in aquatic ecosystem and their effect on the aquatic organisms has now been recognized as a serious environmental threat. In fishes, arsenic (As) is absorbed via the gills and through contaminated food which is capable of causing disturbance to the antioxidant system. Arsenic can exist both in organic or inorganic form in nature. In general inorganic arsenicals are more toxic than organoarsenicals. Arsenic binds with sulfhydryl groups and disrupts sulfhydryl containing enzymes. Since fishes respond to toxicants in a similar way as higher vertebrates including human, hence Channa punctatus were taken as a laboratory animal model in the present study. Channa punctatus were exposed to 4.6 mg l-1 of sodium arsenite (NaAsO2). Behavioural manifestations were recorded in a definite interval after being exposed to NaAsO2. Enzymes are biochemical macromolecule which control metabolic processes of organisms. Since a slight variation in enzyme activities would affect the organism, hence by estimating the enzyme activities in an organism, metabolic disturbances in its body can be easily found. Significant alterations in the total protein and in the marker enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were observed in arsenic treated fishes. Arsenic treated fishes were then exposed to turmeric extract (1 mg l-1) and significant revival from arsenicosis has been observed.