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Title: Sensitivity of the sea snail Gibbula umbilicalis to mercury exposure - linking endpoints from different biological organization levels
Author: Cabecinhas, Adriana S.
Novais, Sara C.
Santos, Sílvia C.
Rodrigues, Andreia C. M.
Pestana, João L. T.
Soares, Amadeu M. V. M.
Lemos, Marco F. L.
Keywords: Biomarkers
Marine ecotoxicology
Post-exposure feeding
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Mercury contamination is a common phenomenon in the marine environment and for this reason it is important to develop cost-effective and relevant tools to assess its toxic effects on a number of different species. To evaluate the possible effects of Hg in the sea snail Gibbula umbilicalis, animals were exposed to increasing concentrations of the contaminant in the ionic form for 96 h. After this exposure period, mortality, feeding and flipping behavior, the activity of the biomarkers glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, lactate dehydrogenase and cholinesterase, the levels of lipid peroxidation and cellular energy allocation were measured. After 96 h of exposure to the highest Hg concentration ( LC20), there was a significant inhibition of the cholinesterase activity as well as impairment in the flipping behavior and post-exposure feeding of the snails. Cholinesterase inhibition was correlated with the impairment of behavioral responses also caused by exposure to Hg. These endpoints, including the novel flipping test, revealed sensitivity to Hg and might be used as relevant early warning indicators of prospective effects at higher biological organization levels, making these parameters potential tools for environmental risk assessment. The proposed test species showed sensitivity to Hg and proved to be a suitable and resourceful species to be used in ecotoxicological testing to assess effects of other contaminants in marine ecosystems.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.07.016
ISSN: 0045-6535
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos

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