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|How safe are the new green energy resources for marine wildlife? The case of lithium
De Marchi, Lucia
|Considering the increasing use of Lithium (Li) and the necessity to fulfil this demand, labile Li occurrence in the environment will be enhanced. Thus, additional research is needed regarding the presence of this element in marine environment and its potential toxic impacts towards inhabiting wildlife. The aim of the present study was to evaluate Li toxicity based on the exposure of Mytilus galloprovincialis to this metal, assessing the biochemical changes related with mussels' metabolism, oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. For this, organisms were exposed to different Li concentrations (100, 250, 750 μg/L) for 28 days. The results obtained clearly demonstrated that Li lead to mussels' metabolism depression. The present study also revealed that, especially at the highest concentrations, antioxidant and biotransformation enzymes were not activated, leading to the occurrence of lipid peroxidation and loss of redox homeostasis, with increased content in oxidized glutathione in comparison to the reduced form. Furthermore, after 28 days, higher Li exposure concentrations induced neurotoxic effects in mussels, with a decrease in acetylcholinesterase enzyme activity. The responses observed were closely related with Li concentrations in mussels' tissues, which were more pronounced at higher exposure concentrations. Such results highlight the potential toxic effects of Li to marine species, which may even be higher under predicted climate changes and/or in the presence of other pollutants.
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