Ocean acidification (OA) has deleterious impacts on immune response and energy homeostasis status of Mollusca. In the present study, the apoptosis ratio of hemocytes and the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) allocation in gill tissues were determined after Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas were exposed to elevated CO2 environment (pH = 7.50) for 16 days. The apoptosis ratio in CO2 exposure group (35.2%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in the control group, and the increased apoptosis ratio induced by elevated CO2 could be significantly inhibited (p < 0.05) by KH7, a specific inhibitor of a bicarbonate sensor soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC). After CO2 exposure, sAC in oyster (CgsAC) was found to be clustered with mitochondria in the cytoplasm, and the pro-caspase-3 was cleaved into two small fragments. Moreover, the activities of caspase-3 and caspase-9 also increased post CO2 exposure and these increases could be inhibited by KH7. However, the activities of caspase-8 did not change significantly compared with that in the control group. After CO2 exposure, the ATP content in the gill increased significantly (p < 0.05) and such increase could also be inhibited by KH7. The ATP content in purified gill mitochondria decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after CO2 exposure, which was also inhibited by KH7. These results implied that the elevated CO2 could activate the mitochondria-CgsAC pathway of apoptosis and ATP metabolism in oyster, and this pathway played essential roles in maintaining the homeostasis and the balance of energy metabolism in response to OA.
Wang X., Wang M., Xu J., Jia Z., Liu Z., Wang L. & Song L., in press. Soluble adenylyl cyclase mediates mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis and ATP metabolism in oyster Crassostrea gigas exposed to elevated CO2. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. Article (subscription required).