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Oxidative stress and immunologic responses following a dietary exposure to PAHs in Mya arenaria

Author(s): Pichaud Nicolas | Pellerin Jocelyne | Fournier Michel | Gauthier-Clerc Sophie | Rioux Pascal | Pelletier Émilien

Journal: Chemistry Central Journal
ISSN 1752-153X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background The aim of this research was to investigate oxidative stress and immune responses following a dietary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure in a marine bioindicator organism, the soft shell clam, Mya arenaria. Immune parameters in hemolymph (haemocyte number, efficiency of phagocytosis and haemocyte activity) and assessment of oxidative stress using catalase (CAT) activity and levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) performed on the digestive gland were estimated as biomarkers in clams fed in mesocosm with PAH contaminated phytoplankton. MDA levels and CAT activities were also measured in situ in organisms sampled in a control site (Metis Beach, Québec, Canada) as well as organisms sampled in a site receiving domestic effluents (Pointe-au-Père, Québec, Canada), to assess effects of abiotic variables related to seasonal variations and mixed contamination on the selected parameters. Results Results on immune parameters suggest that the PAHs may interfere with the maturation and/or differentiation processes of haemocytes. MDA results showed that lipid peroxidation did not occur following the exposure. The levels of CAT activity corresponded to weak antioxidant activity (no significant differences). Recovery was noted for all the immune endpoints at the end of the experiment. Conclusion Results suggest that immune parameters are early biomarkers that can efficiently detect a physiological change during a short term exposure to low concentrations of PAHs. The in situ survey (in the natural environment) suggested that clams from the Pointe-au-Père site did not show any oxidative stress as well as the clams contaminated in mesocosm, probably due to the low concentrations of PAHs used for this study. MDA levels increased however in organisms from Metis Beach, a response probably related to domestic effluents or parasitism.
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