Environmental research

Bioavailability, oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and genotoxicity of pharmaceuticals bound to marine sediments. The use of the polychaete Hediste diversicolor as bioindicator species.

PMID 25203819


A set of "early warning responses", measured as biomarkers of exposure and effect, was applied in the marine bioindicator Hediste diversicolor, in a way to assess the environmental quality of sediment affected by pharmaceutical contamination. Sublethal responses were determined in the sea-worms after 14-days of exposure to sediment spiked with some of the most representative pharmaceutical products found in the environment: carbamazepine (CBZ), ibuprofen (IBP), fluoxetine (FX), 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and propranolol (PRO), including the environmental concentrations. Phases I (ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase - EROD and dibenzylfluorescein dealkylase - DBF) and II (glutathione S-transferase - GST) of the metabolism, antioxidant system (glutathione peroxidase - GPX and glutathione reductase - GR), neurotoxicity (acetylcholinesterase - AChE) and oxidative effects (lipid peroxidation - LPO and DNA damage strand breaks) were selected to evaluate the sublethal responses in the sea-worms. FX, EE2 and PRO were detoxified by the phase I of the metabolism (EROD activity). On the other hand, phase II (GST-activity) did not respond in sea-worms exposed to pharmaceutical products, except for the environmental concentrations of CBZ (activation) and PRO (deactivation). Neurotoxicity was induced in sea-worms exposed to EE2 (only the environmental concentrations), FX, IBP and CBZ. Oxidative effect determined as LPO increased in sea-worms exposed to environmental concentrations of IBP, EE2 and PRO. Genetic damage increased in sea-worms exposed to IBP and diminished for FX, EE2 and PRO. Our results indicated the toxicity of pharmaceutical products and recommended the battery of biomarkers and the bioindicator specie H. diversicolor for the environmental quality assessment of sediment affected by pharmaceutical contamination.