Exposure to pet-made microplastics: Particle size and pH effects on biomolecular responses in mussels

Highlights

•PET-MPs are able to induce biochemical stress in mussels.

•LPO and GPx were more effective in detecting the PET-MPs induced stress.

•Biomarkers expression was influenced by the size of PET-MPs.

•L-PET-MPs (0.5–3.0 mm) induced grater effect than other sizes.

•Interaction was recorded among PET-MPs sizes and initial pH (8.0–7.5 units).

Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the expression of biomarkers of oxidative stress (LPO, GPx, AtCh, SOD) in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) following the exposure to suspensions of microparticles irregular shaped fibres of Polyethylene terephthalate of different sizes (small 5–60 μm, S-PET; medium 61–499 μm, M-PET; large 500–3000 μm, L-PET) at a single dose of 0.1 g/L. Mussels were tested under two different starting pH conditions of marine water: standard (8.0) and acidified (7.5). The results obtained from this study show that: i) PET microplastics are able to induce biochemical stress in mussels; ii) among the biomarkers tested, LPO and GPx were more effective in detecting the stress induced by microplastic in both initial pH conditions; iii) the expression of biomarkers was influenced by the size of the microparticle. In particular, greater effects were associated with the largest PET particle tested (0.5–3.0 mm); iv) regarding the effect of pH, in experiments starting from 7.5 pH the animals showed a lower biomarker expression than those starting from 8.0 pH.

Provenza F., Piccardo M., Terlizzi A. & Renzi M., 2020. Exposure to pet-made microplastics: Particle size and pH effects on biomolecular responses in mussels. Marine Pollution Bulletin 156, 111228. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111228. Article (subscription required).

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