Southern populations of the European minnow from remote oligotrophic mounta
in lakes along an Alpine north-south transect accumulated more p,p' DDE and
PCBs than northern populations. As these semi-volatile organochlorines pre
dominantly evaporate in warm countries, higher rates of condensation (depos
ition) are assumed to occur in the southern slopes of the Alps. The higher
accumulation of lead and cadmium in southern population is rather attribute
d to geogenic and specific environmental impacts than to atmospheric deposi
tion. Increasing liver ratios of [glutathione disulfide]/[glutathione], a p
otential indicator for oxidative stress, from north to south reflect the ge
nerally higher toxic load at remote sites at the southern edge of the Alps.
However, histopathological changes in the liver did not correlate with acc
umulated toxicants indicating that deposition does not lead to severe lesio
ns but induces specific mechanisms for detoxification.