OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was the assessment of the Svitava and Svratka rivers contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) using 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) concentrations in fish bile as a biomarker.
DESIGN: Levels of 1-OHP were determined by reverse phase HPLC with fluorescence detection. For valid assessment of bile accumulation levels, the 1-OHP concentration was normalized to the biliary protein content. The content of 1-OHP was correlated with the PAH content of river bottom sediments.
RESULTS: The highest level of 1-OHP in fish bile (136.1 ng.mg-1 protein) was found at the locality Rajhradice, which is situated downstream of Brno. Also the greatest level of sum of PAHs was found at this locality (17.1 microg.g-1 dry mass). Significant positive correlation (p< or =0.05) between the level of 1-OHP and sum of PAHs in sediment was found only in case of sediments collected in the same month as fish samples (in June).
CONCLUSION: Our results document that 1-OHP in fish bile is a suitable biochemical marker for the assessment of aquatic ecosystem contamination by PAHs.