The aim of this study was to evaluate the interactive effects of the metals lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzo(k)fluoranthene (BkF) on crucian carp (Carassius carassius). To this end, various biomarkers in the fish [7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD); superoxide dismutase (SOD); malondialdehyde (MDA) and metallothioneins (MT)] were measured after 96 h of exposure. When compared to either treatment with Pb and Zn mixtures or BkF-only treatment, the treatment with BkF combined with Pb and Zn resulted in lower responses of EROD and MT synthesis activity, and higher SOD and MDA increases. These results indicated that the co-exposure of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may cause more severe oxidative stress on fish. However, the effect of these interactions on EROD and MT may lead to an underestimation of the actual exposure in the field and thereby should be carefully considered.
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