Oxidative stress biomarkers in the digestive gland of Theba pisana exposed to heavy metals.
The in vivo toxic effects of sublethal treatment of 40 and 80% of 48-h LD(50) of topically applied trace metals [copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)] on oxidative stress biomarkers in the digestive gland of Theba pisana were examined. Oxidative individual perturbations were assessed by measuring nonenzymatic (glutathione; GSH) and enzymatic (catalase, CAT; glutathione peroxidase, GPx; and glutathione-S-transferase, GST) antioxidants in digestive gland of the snails. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) was also evaluated as a marker of cell damage. The results indicated that the copper ion was the most potent metal against this snail, followed by zinc and lead, for which the corresponding LD(50) values were 37.88, 261.72, and 652.55 microg/snail, respectively. The no-observed effect concentration (NOEC) values for Cu, Zn, and Pb were 10, 50, and 500 microg/snail, respectively, and the corresponding lowest-observed effect concentration (LOEC) values were 50, 100, and 1000 microg/snail. All trace metals resulted in a significant increase in the level of LPO, whereas a significant decline in the content of GSH was observed when compared with untreated controls. Treatment with both sublethal doses of the metals caused significant increase in CAT activity, except in the case of 40% LD(50) Zn and 80% LD(50) Cu, which exhibited no alteration in CAT when compared to control animals. GPx was significantly increased in snails exposed to 40% LD(50) Cu and Pb as well as 80% LD(50) Cu. However, an opposite effect was observed in snails exposed to 80% LD(50) Pb and in either 40 or 80% LD(50) of Zn-intoxicated animals. Treatment with Pb at two sublethal doses significantly increased GST activity, whereas treatment the animal with Cu caused significant inhibition in this enzyme. Snails exposed to 40% LD(50) Zn showed significant enhancement of GST, whereas snails exposed to 80% LD(50) showed significantly reduced GST activity. Biphasic responses were observed for CAT, GPx, and GST activities in snails exposed to Cu, Pb, and Zn, respectively. This study suggests that upregulation of the antioxidant enzyme activities, elevation of LPO, and the reduction in GSH content is related to oxidative stress in this species that could be useful as biomarkers for the evaluation of contaminated terrestrial ecosystems.
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