Biochemical investigations were carried out to assess the effect of consumption of crude oil contaminated catfish on the hepatocytes and performance of rat. Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) (n = 120) were grouped into 6 of 20 catfish each and held for 30 h in 5 different mixtures of crude oil polluted water (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1% v/v). Catfish in the control group were held in borehole water. At the expiration of 30 h, the catfish were harvested and used to formulate diet. Albino rats (n = 60) were grouped into 6 of 10 rats each and fed on the formulated diet for a period of 30 days. Compared with the control, the result showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in the average daily feed intake in all the groups of rats. However, a significant reduction (p<0.05) was observed in the overall body weight, the liver-to-body weight ratio as well as the serum concentrations of albumin and globulin of rat as the amount of crude oil in the diet increased. A significant increase (p<0.05) was also observed in the serum bilirubin concentration of rats fed on diet formulated with crude oil contaminated catfish when compared with the control. Histological analysis also revealed that the architectural arrangement of the liver was altered following the consumption of diet containing catfish exposed to crude oil polluted water. Overall, the data obtained indicate a possible adverse effect on the performance and impaired liver function in the rats fed on diet containing catfish exposed to crude oil polluted water.
Key words: Crude oil, hepatocytes, catfish, albumin, globulin, bilirubin.
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