Sex differences in oxidative stress responses of tropical topshells (Trochus histrio) to increased temperature and high pCO2

Highlights

• Sex differences in oxidative stress of topshells were investigated under climate change.
• Males undergo cellular damage under high pCO2, counter-balanced by increased temperature.
• Heat shock response was thermo- and sex-regulated, most predominant in males.
• Catalase and GSTs activities were maximum under high temperature and hypercapnia.
• Sexes have distinct physiological strategies to cope oxidative stress, more efficient in females.

Abstract

Given scarcity of knowledge on gender ecophysiological responses of tropical marine organisms to global climate change, the major aim of this research was to investigate potential sex differences in oxidative status of topshell Trochus histrio, after a combined exposure to increased temperature and pCO2. Lipid peroxidation, heat-shock response and antioxidant enzymatic activities were evaluated. Lipid peroxidation varied differently between sexes, with males undergoing cellular damage under high pCO2, which was elevated temperature-counteracted. Heat shock response was thermo- and sex-regulated, with males exhibiting significantly higher heat shock proteins production than females. Catalase activity increased with temperature and was exacerbated in combination with hypercapnia, being highest in females, while glutathione S-transferases activity peaked in males. These results clearly support the existence of distinct physiological strategies to cope oxidative stress between sexes, apparently more efficient in females, and also reinforce for the need of encompassing sex as meaningful variable in future biomarker studies.

Grilo T. F., Lopes A. R., Sampaio E., Rosa R. & Cardoso P. G., 2018. Sex differences in oxidative stress responses of tropical topshells (Trochus histrio) to increased temperature and high pCO2. Marine Pollution Bulletin 131: 252-259. Article (subscription required).

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