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Bile metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in three species of fish from the severn estuary

Ruddock, P. J.; Bird, David J.; McCalley, David V.


P. J. Ruddock

David J. Bird


Six metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were identified and quantified from the bile of 31 common eels (Anguilla anguilla), 29 European flounders (Pleuronectes flesus), and 15 conger eels (Conger conger) collected from the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel during 1997. The bile metabolites were deconjugated by enzymatic hydrolysis and separated by reverse-phase HPLC with fluorescence detection. The major metabolite present in all fish was 1-hydroxy pyrene (75-94% of all metabolites detected) with lower proportions of 1-hydroxy chrysene (2-15%) and 1-hydroxy phenanthrene (2-8%), and small amounts of three benzo[a]pyrene derivatives (< 3%). Metabolite concentrations (normalized to biliverdin content) were significantly higher in common eels than in the other two species and tended to be higher in all species at the beginning of the year than at the end. The data confirm the importance of 1-hydroxy pyrene as the key PAH metabolite in fish bile and suggest that the common eel is an ideal species for monitoring PAHs in estuarine environments. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).


Ruddock, P. J., Bird, D. J., & McCalley, D. V. (2002). Bile metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in three species of fish from the severn estuary. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 51(2), 97-105.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2002
Journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Print ISSN 0147-6513
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 2
Pages 97-105
Keywords 1-hydroxy pyrene, pollution monitoring, seasonal variation, metabolite profiles, bioavailability, sublethal effects
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Lead author. The first use of bile metabolites as a method to dectect hydrocarbon pollution in the Severn estuary and one of few studies to compare response in different species.