Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Highly selective biomarkers for pesticides developed in Eisenia fetida using SELDI-TOF MS.

PMID 25682009


The repeated use of pesticides, and their subsequent residues, has contributed to severe adverse effects on the environment, including risks to human health. Therefore, it is important to assess the quality of the environment to ensure it remains free from pesticide residues. The six pesticides tested in this study showed high mortality on Eisenia fetida with LC50 values ranging from 7.7 to 37.9 g L(-1). The strongest lethal effect resulted from the organochlorine insecticide endosulfan (LC50=7.7 g L(-1)). Following exposure to the carbamate pesticides, acetylcholinesterase activity in E. fetida decreased dramatically in comparison to the control. Carboxylesterase activity was only lowered in E. fetida exposed to propoxur, when compared to the control. The remaining five pesticides had no significant effect on carboxylesterase activity in E. fetida. In order to discover pesticide-specific biomarkers with differentially expressed proteins after exposure to pesticides, protein patterns of pesticide-treated E. fetida were analyzed using SELDI-TOF MS with Q10 ProteinChips. Protein patterns were compared with their intensities at the same mass-to-charge ratios (m/z). All 42 peaks had intensities with associated p-values less than 0.089, and 40 of these peaks had associated p-values of 0.05. Using SELDI-TOF MS technology, selective biomarkers for the six pesticides tested were found in E. fetida; four proteins with 5425, 5697, 9523, and 9868 m/z were consistently observed in the earthworms following exposure to the carbamates.

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