The Luján River basin, which is located in the northwest area of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, receives different anthropogenic inputs before reaching the Río de la Plata estuary. The aim of this study was to assess the adverse impact of the river in the middle part of the basin. To this end, an in situ cage assay was conducted in two sites of the river (S1 and S2) near Luján city, and the responses of hepatic biomarkers of both a standardized (Cyprinus carpio) and a native (Pimelodella laticeps) species were evaluated. The biomarkers studied were the condition factor and liver somatic indices (LSI), the enzymatic activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), lipid peroxidation levels (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) and the induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) and vitellogenin (Vtg) proteins. After 14 days, LSI and GST activity increased, and TBARS levels decreased in both species exposed at S1 and S2. In addition, exposure at both sites promoted an increase in SOD activity and CYP1A induction in C. carpio, while Vtg expression was observed only at S1. A shorter exposure period (7 days) caused an initial response only at S2 mediated only by CAT in P. laticeps. Finally, our results demonstrate that a 14-day period of in situ exposure in Luján River could lead to antioxidant and biotransformation processes in C. carpio and to phase II biotransformation responses in P. laticeps. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 545–557, 2014.