Ecotoxicology and environmental safety

Phototoxicology. 3. Comparative toxicity of trinitrotoluene and aminodinitrotoluenes to Daphnia magna, Dugesia dorotocephala, and sheep erythrocytes.

PMID 7525203


2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and compounds associated with its production are toxic and phototoxic to a wide range of biota. The planarian Dugesia dorotocephala, but not Daphnia magna, metabolized TNT (1 mg/liter) to 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4A; 0.4 mg/liter) and 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A; 0.2 mg/liter). Coexposure to near-ultraviolet (nuv) light enhanced the toxicity of 2A more than that of TNT and 4A. The toxicities of TNT, 4A, and 2A to Du. dorotocephala were all decreased by glutathione (GSH) conjugation. This suggests that all had mechanisms of toxic action involving formation of quinone-GSH conjugates. Dark and light mechanisms for TNT and 2A depended on GSH conjugation, but the specific mechanisms may be different for each compound. The dark and light mechanisms of toxic action for 4A appeared to be fundamentally different in that the dark toxic mechanism of action was less dependent on GSH conjugation. Hemolysis studies using sheep erythrocytes showed that the light-enhanced toxic mechanism of action for TNT, 2A, and/or 4A did not involve cellular membrane damage in response to nuv-induced anions.