Ecotoxicological responses of the earthworm Eisenia fetida exposed to soil contaminated with HHCB.

PMID 21334043


Although polycyclic musks have been shown to cause lethal and sub-lethal effects on organisms, their biochemical toxicity to earthworms is not well understood. In the current study, we investigated the responses of antioxidant systems and lipid peroxidation after exposing Eisenia fetida to soil contaminated with 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethyl-cyclopenta-γ-2-benzopyran (HHCB). Significant increase in lipid peroxidation level was observed on day 14 at two high concentrations, 50 and 100 mg kg(-1). Among antioxidant enzymes, the primary response to chronic HHCB exposure can be attributed to superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). Of the two enzymes, SOD exhibited more sensitive response to HHCB stress. In addition, these two enzymes could have a combined effect on fighting damage by reactive oxygen species, evidenced by a marked relationship between lipid peroxidation and enzyme activity. On the other hand, dose-dependent inhibition of peroxidase (POD) activity has been observed throughout the test. The results suggest that the variations in investigated parameters of E. fetida could be used as responsive biomarkers for oxidative stress caused by HHCB in a soil environment.

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