Dietary uptake is the major way that inorganic arsenic (iAs) enters into benthic fish; however, the metabolic process of dietborne iAs in fish muscle following chronic exposure remains unclear. This was a 40-day study on chronic dietborne iAs [arsenite (AsIII) and arsenate (AsV)] exposure in the benthic freshwater food fish, the crucian carp (Carassius auratus), which determined the temporal profiles of iAs metabolism and toxicokinetics during exposure. We found that an adaptive response occurred in the fish body after iAs dietary exposure, which was associated with decreased As accumulation and increased As transformation into a non-toxic As form (arsenobetaine). The bioavailability of dietary AsIII was lower than that of AsV, probably because AsIII has a lower ability to pass through fish tissues. Dietary AsV exhibited a high potential for transformation into AsIII species, which then accumulated in fish muscle. The largely produced AsIII considered more toxic at the earlier stage of AsV exposure should attract sufficient attention to human exposure assessment. Therefore, the pristine As species and exposure duration had significant effects on As bioaccumulation and biotransformation in fish. The behavior determined for dietborne arsenic in food fish is crucial for not only arsenic ecotoxicology but also food safety.
- Freshwater fish