Gill histology of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus following chronic and acute exposure to ammonia

Gilha Yoon, Najiya Al-Saadi, Aisha Ambuali


Ammonia is a common aquatic pollutant and is toxic to fish. The main nitrogenous compound excreted by fish is also ammonia, which may reach toxic concentrations in high-density fish culture, reducing growth and productivity. In this study, changes in gill structure and mucus cell distribution were examined when juvenile Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, were exposed to chronic and acute concentrations of ammonia. For chronic exposure, the tilapia were exposed to daily increments in ammonia concentration rising from 0 mg L-1 ammonia on Day 0 to 5 mg L-1 by Day 8; the experiment was terminated on Day 9. There were obvious histopathological changes to the gills over this period including hypertrophy and fusion and of the secondary lamellae. The mucus cell number in gill histology sections were observed to increase until Day 6 then decrease thereafter until the termination of the trial. For the acute exposure, juvenile tilapia were exposed to 5 mg L-1 ammonia for 5 hours. Hourly changes to the gills were monitored, with notable changes to gill filaments and an observed increase in the mucus cell number over the duration of the experiment.



Tilapia, gill histology, ammonia, acute, chronic

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Copyright (c) 2017 Gilha Yoon, Najiya Al-Saadi, Aisha Ambuali

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