The histostructure of the liver of fish from Harike wetland was studied in order to detect the effects of heavy metal pollution. Fish samples (n = 10) were collected from two sampling sites i.e. Harike wetland and the river Beas during the breeding season. The river Beas merges with the river Sutlej at Harike wetland and carries pure water as compared to the water of the river Sutlej. This river receives pollutants from its tributaries namely Budha Nallah and East Bein which ultimately pollute the internationally important Harike wetland and resultantly cause morphological alterations in the liver of fish from Harike wetland as compared to that from the river Beas. Fish liver histopathology is a good bioindicator and can be used for the detection of chemical pollution in fish. During this study, the effect of heavy metals present in the Harike wetland i.e. Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn), Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), Nickel (Ni) and Copper (Cu) was investigated with the aim of determining the significant histological changes in the liver of the Indian major carp, Labeo rohita. The histological changes included hyalinization, vacuolation, cellular swelling and congestion of blood vessels. It can therefore be concluded that heavy metal exposure resulted in histological alterations in the liver of fish. Hence, the liver of Labeo rohita can be used as a pollution biomarker.
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