Zoological Studies

Vol. 38 No. 2, 1999

TBT (Tributyltin) Toxicity to the Visual and Olfactory Functions of Tigerperch (Terapon jarbua Forsskl)

Dar-Yi Wang and Bao-Quey Huang*

Department of Fisheries Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 202

Dar-Yi Wang and Bao-Quey Huang (1999) In order to understand tributyltin (TBT) toxicity to peripheral sensory functions, changes of visual and olfactory structures of tigerperch (Terapon jarbua Forsskl) were examined in juvenile and adult fish after exposure to 10, 50, and 100 g TBT/l in juveniles and to 1 and 5 g TBT/l in adults, respectively, for 7 d. Severe sloughing of squamous epithelial cells led to a thinning of the corneal epithelium. The retinomotor response of pigmented epithelium significantly decreased from 75.33% 2.88% (in the control group) to 63.33% 4.04% (p < 0.05, n = 3) in the 100 g/l group. The separation and necrotic corneal epithelium may lead to partial opacity and/or irregular abrasion and thus decrease retinomotor responses. In addition, scanning electron microscopic studies revealed edema, deformity, and sloughing of the microvilli, cilia, and rods in receptor cells of the olfactory epithelium. Electroolfactogram (EOG) responses significantly decreased from −3.0 0.6 mV to −1.3 0.5 mV (1 g/l) and −0.4 0.1 (5 g/l), respectively (n = 3).

Key words: Tributyltin, Corneal and olfactory epithelium, Retinomotor response, Electroolfactogram (EOG).

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-24622192 ext. 5028. Fax: 886-2-24624790.