Effect of arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) on glycogen content and on the activities of selected enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism in freshwater catfish, Heteropneustes fossilis

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Zoology, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, 793022, India



eavy metals show a wide range of effect on fishes, out of which arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) are among the leading heavy metal toxicants. These heavy metals are known to alter different biochemical parameters, including glycogen level, in different tissues of fishes. Glycogen level in fish serves as the main source of energy; hence, in this study, the acute toxicity test of As and Pb and their effect on the glycogen content and the enzymes involved therein (glycogen phosphorylase, glycogen synthase, hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase) were studied in the liver and muscle tissues of Heteropneustes fossilis. The 96 h LC50 values of As2O3 and PbCl2 on H. fossilis were found to be 35.09 ppm and 66.20 ppm, respectively. On acute exposure to 96 h LC50 values of As2O3 and PbCl2, the glycogen concentration showed a gradual decrease in both liver and muscle tissues of H. fossilis. However, on chronic exposure (LC50/20th ppm), the glycogen content in liver and muscle of H. fossilis was depleted till 20 days; whereas after 30 days, the glycogen level was recovered in both the tissues. The activities of glycogen metabolic enzymes (glycogen phosphorylase and glycogen synthase) and few selected glycolytic enzymes (hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase) were also altered in H. fossilis when exposed to acute and chronic concentration of As2O3 and PbCl2. Our present results showed that As and Pb induced toxicity stress on the catfish, H. fossilis, which might have caused to alter the carbohydrate metabolism in the fish.