Towards science-based sediment quality standards-Effects of field-collected sediments in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Brinkmann, Markus; Eichbaum, Kathrin; Reininghaus, Mathias; Koglin, Sven; Kammann, Ulrike; Baumann, Lisa Annie; Segner, Helmut; Zennegg, Markus; Buchinger, Sebastian; Reifferscheid, Georg; Hollert, Henner (2015). Towards science-based sediment quality standards-Effects of field-collected sediments in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquatic toxicology, 166, pp. 50-62. Elsevier 10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.07.010

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Sediments can act as long-term sinks for environmental pollutants. Within the past decades, dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have attracted significant attention in the scientific community. To investigate the time- and concentration-dependent uptake of DLCs and PAHs in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and their associated toxicological effects, we conducted exposure experiments using suspensions of three field-collected sediments from the rivers Rhine and Elbe, which were chosen to represent different contamination levels. Five serial dilutions of contaminated sediments were tested; these originated from the Prossen and Zollelbe sampling sites (both in the river Elbe, Germany) and from Ehrenbreitstein (Rhine, Germany), with lower levels of contamination. Fish were exposed to suspensions of these dilutions under semi-static conditions for 90 days. Analysis of muscle tissue by high resolution gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and of bile liquid by high-performance liquid chromatography showed that particle-bound PCDD/Fs, PCBs and PAHs were readily bioavailable from re-suspended sediments. Uptake of these contaminants and the associated toxicological effects in fish were largely proportional to their sediment concentrations. The changes in the investigated biomarkers closely reflected the different sediment contamination levels: cytochrome P450 1A mRNA expression and 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity in fish livers responded immediately and with high sensitivity, while increased frequencies of micronuclei and other nuclear aberrations, as well as histopathological and gross pathological lesions, were strong indicators of the potential long-term effects of re-suspension events. Our study clearly demonstrates that sediment re-suspension can lead to accumulation of PCDD/Fs and PCBs in fish, resulting in potentially adverse toxicological effects. For a sound risk assessment within the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive and related legislation, we propose a strong emphasis on sediment-bound contaminants in the context of integrated river basin management plans.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Baumann, Lisa Annie, Segner, Helmut


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Lucia Gugger-Raaflaub

Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2016 09:46

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:54

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Biomarkers; Dioxin-like compounds; Dioxins; POPs; Re-suspension; Sediment




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