||The European eel (Anguilla anguilla), a catadromous species, breeds in the sea and migrates to estuarine, lagoon or freshwater habitats for growth and development. Yellow eels, exposed to low or fluctuating salinities, are also exposed to multiple other stressors as pollution, over-fishing and parasitism, which contribute to the dramatic decrease of eel populations in several European countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate the single and combined effects of waterborne copper and experimental infestation of eels with the nematode Anguillicoloides crassus after a salinity challenge from nearly isotonic (18ppt) to hypo- (5ppt) and hypertonic (29ppt) conditions, in order to investigate the osmoregulatory capacity of eels exposed to these stressors. In a nearly isotonic condition (18ppt), blood osmolality remained constant over the 6 weeks contamination to Cu(2+) and Anguillicoloides crassus. In fish exposed to a salinity challenge of 29ppt for 2 weeks, no significant effect was recorded in blood osmolality, Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (NKA) activity, Na(+) and Cl(-) concentrations. After 2 weeks at 5ppt however, a significant blood osmolality decrease was detected in fish exposed to Anguillicoloides crassus infestation with or without Cu(2+) addition. This decrease may originate from lower Cl(-) levels measured in eels exposed to both stressors. Blood Na(+) levels remained relatively stable in all tested animals, but gill NKA activities were lower in eels exposed to combined stress. No apparent branchial lesions were detected following the different treatments and immunolocalization of NKA revealed well-differentiated ionocytes. Thus, the 5ppt challenge in eels exposed to copper and Anguillicoloides crassus seems to clearly enhance iono/osmoregulatory disturbances. Funded by ANR CES/CIEL 2008-12.