Environmental toxicology and chemistry

Use of a suite of biomarkers to assess the effects of carbamazepine, bisphenol A, atrazine, and their mixtures on green mussels, Perna viridis.

PMID 27415772


The present study investigated the toxicity of several emerging contaminants: the pharmaceutical drug carbamazepine (CBZ), the plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA), and the herbicide atrazine (ATZ) in a marine bivalve. Green mussels (Perna viridis) were exposed to different concentrations of CBZ, BPA, and ATZ, either individually or as mixtures over a 7-d period, and a suite of molecular and cellular biomarkers were analyzed: biomarkers of immunotoxicity (total hemocyte count, phagocytosis, extracellular lysozyme), genotoxicity (Comet assay), neurotoxicity (inhibition of acetylcholinesterase [AChE]), endocrine disruption (vitellin-like proteins), and detoxification enzymes (cytochrome P4501A [CYP1A], 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase [EROD], and glutathione-S-transferase [GST]). Results of the single-chemical exposure tests highlighted the relatively low toxicity of CBZ because most biomarker responses observed were recorded at concentrations well above environmental levels. Bisphenol A exposure at environmentally realistic concentrations resulted in clear immunomodulatory, genotoxic, and endocrine-disruptive effects. Similarly, 3 of the 10 biomarkers tested on green mussels (genotoxicity, inhibition of AchE, and EROD) responded after exposure to ATZ at environmentally relevant doses or below, and confirmed the potency of this herbicide to marine bivalves. Exposure tests using mixtures of CBZ, BPA, and ATZ also revealed that these 3 substances were generally acting in an additive manner on the selected biomarkers, at environmental doses, with some exceptions (antagonism and/or synergy) at low and high concentrations. The present study also confirms that most of the biomarkers used are suitable for biomonitoring studies with green mussels. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:429-441. © 2016 SETAC.