Posts Tagged 'toxicants'

Development of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina from Hong Kong is robust to ocean acidification and copper contamination

Highlights

• Ocean acidification will increase the fraction of the most toxic form of copper, increasing its bioavailability to marine organisms
• We tested the hypothesis that copper contaminated waters are more toxic to sea urchin larvae under future pH conditions in three laboratory experiments
• Larvae are robust to the pH and the copper levels we tested (little/no mortality)
• However, significant sub-lethal effects, could have indirect consequences on survival

Abstract

Metallic pollution is of particular concern in coastal cities. In the Asian megacity of Hong Kong, despite water qualities have improved over the past decade, some local zones are still particularly affected and could represent sinks for remobilization of labile toxic species such as copper. Ocean acidification is expected to increase the fraction of the most toxic form of copper (Cu2+) by 2.3-folds by 2100 (pH ≈7.7), increasing its bioavailability to marine organisms. Multiple stressors are likely to exert concomitant effects (additive, synergic or antagonist) on marine organisms.

Here, we tested the hypothesis that copper contaminated waters are more toxic to sea urchin larvae under future pH conditions. We exposed sea urchin embryos and larvae to two low-pH and two copper treatments (0.1 and 1.0 μM) in three separate experiments. Over the short time typically used for toxicity tests (up to 4-arm plutei, i.e. 3 days), larvae of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina were robust and survived the copper levels present in Hong Kong waters today (≤0.19 μM) as well as the average pH projected for 2100. We, however, observed significant mortality with lowering pH in the longer, single-stressor experiment (Expt A: 8-arm plutei, i.e. 9 days). Abnormality and arm asymmetry were significantly increased by pH or/and by copper presence (depending on the experiment and copper level). Body size (d3; but not body growth rates in Expt A) was significantly reduced by both lowered pH and added copper. Larval respiration (Expt A) was doubled by a decrease at pHT from 8.0 to 7.3 on d6. In Expt B1.0 and B0.1, larval morphology (relative arm lengths and stomach volume) were affected by at least one of the two investigated factors.

Although the larvae appeared robust, these sub-lethal effects may have indirect consequences on feeding, swimming and ultimately survival. The complex relationship between pH and metal speciation/uptake is not well-characterized and further investigations are urgently needed to detangle the mechanisms involved and to identify possible caveats in routinely used toxicity tests.

Continue reading ‘Development of the sea urchin Heliocidaris crassispina from Hong Kong is robust to ocean acidification and copper contamination’

Impacts of the combined exposure to seawater acidification and arsenic on the proteome of Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas

Highlights

• Different modes of action were observed in C. angulata and C. gigas exposed to different stressors.
• Combined exposures induced lower response capacity than single exposures.
• Species developed different modes of action in response to each stressor.

Abstract

Proteomic analysis was performed to compare the effects of Arsenic (As), seawater acidification (Low pH) and the combination of both stressors (Low pH + As) on Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas juveniles in the context of global environmental change. This study aimed to elucidate if two closely related Crassostrea species respond similarly to these environmental stressors, considering both single and combined exposures, to infer if the simultaneous exposure to both stressors induced a differentiated response. Identification of the most important differentially expressed proteins between conditions revealed marked differences in the response of each species towards single and combined exposures, evidencing species-related differences towards each experimental condition. Moreover, protein alterations observed in the combined exposure (Low pH + As) were substantially different from those observed in single exposures. Identified proteins and their putative biological functions revealed an array of modes of action in each condition. Among the most important, those involved in cellular structure (Actin, Atlastin, Severin, Gelsolin, Coronin) and extracellular matrix modulation (Ependymin, Tight junction ZO-1, Neprilysin) were strongly regulated, although in different exposure conditions and species. Data also revealed differences regarding metabolic modulation capacity (ATP β, Enolase, Aconitate hydratase) and oxidative stress response (Aldehyde dehydrogenase, Lactoylglutathione, Retinal dehydrogenase) of the species, which also depended on single or combined exposures, illustrating a different response capacity of both oyster species to the presence of multiple stressors. Interestingly, alterations of piRNA abundance in C. angulata suggested genome reconfiguration in response to multiple stressors, likely an important mode of action related to adaptive evolution mechanisms previously unknown to oyster species, which requires further investigation. Our findings provide a deeper insight into the complexity of C. angulata and C. gigas responses to environmental stress at the proteome level, evidencing different capacities to endure abiotic changes, with relevance regarding the ecophysiological fitness of the species and competitive advantages in a changing environment.

Continue reading ‘Impacts of the combined exposure to seawater acidification and arsenic on the proteome of Crassostrea angulata and Crassostrea gigas’

Copper and ocean acidification interact to lower maternal investment, but have little effect on adult physiology of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata

Highlights

• The first study to investigate the transgenerational carry-over effects of ocean acidification and trace metals.
• Ocean acidification and trace metals interact to lower the energy invested in offspring.
• Offspring of exposed parents perform better than those without exposure.

Abstract

It remains unknown how molluscs will respond to oceans which are increasingly predicted to be warmer, more acidic, and heavily polluted. Ocean acidification and trace metals will likely interact to increase the energy demands of marine organisms, especially oysters. This study tested the interactive effect of exposure to elevated pCO2 and copper on the energetic demands of the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) during reproductive conditioning and determined whether there were any positive or negative effects on their offspring. Oysters were exposed to elevated pCO2 (1000 μatm) and elevated copper (Cu 50 μg L−1 [0.787 μM]) in an orthogonal design for eight weeks during reproductive conditioning. After eight weeks, energetic demands on oysters were measured including standard metabolic rate (SMR), nitrogen excretion, molar oxygen to nitrogen (O:N) ratio, and pHe of adult oysters as well as the size and total lipid content of their eggs. To determine egg viability, the gametes were collected and fertilised from adult oysters, the percentage of embryos that had reached the trochophore stage after 24 h was recorded. Elevated pCO2 caused a lower extracellular pH and there was a greater O:N ratio in adult oysters exposed to copper. While the two stressors did not interact to cause significant effects on adult physiology, they did interact to reduce the size and lipid content of eggs indicating that energy demand on adult oysters was greater when both elevated pCO2 and copper were combined. Despite the lower energy, there were no negative effects on early embryonic development. In conclusion, elevated pCO2 can interact with metals and cause greater energetic demands on oysters; in response oysters may lower maternal investment to offspring.

Continue reading ‘Copper and ocean acidification interact to lower maternal investment, but have little effect on adult physiology of the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata’

The impact of ocean acidification and cadmium on the immune responses of Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

Highlights

•  Inhibited phagocytosis rate, combined with increased DNA damage, apoptosis rate and ROS production of hemocytes were observed in oysters under exposure to Cd exposure alone or combined with OA.
•  Significant interactive effects between OA and Cd were observed on ROS production and DNA damage of hemocytes.
•  mRNA expression of genes related to immune responses (TLR pathway and immune factors) was stimulated in oysters exposed to Cd and OA at pH 7.6.

Abstract

Seawater acidification (OA) and cadmium (Cd) has the potential to lead to immunosuppression effect on marine bivalves. However, the interaction between these two environmental stressors on immune system of marine bivalves has received limited attention. In order to evaluate the defense responses of oysters under the combined exposure to OA and cadmium, the oysters Crassostrea gigas were exposed to 10 μg/L Cd at three pH levels (8.1, 7.8 and 7.6) for 31 days. Results showed that OA exposure alone led to increased DNA damage, apoptosis rate and ROS production of hemocytes. However, inhibited phagocytosis rate, combined with increased DNA damage, apoptosis rate and ROS production of hemocytes were observed in oysters under exposure to Cd exposure alone or combined with OA. Significant interactive effects between OA and Cd were observed on ROS production and DNA damage of hemocytes. In addition, there is generally significant increase in the mRNA expression of genes related to immune-related TLR pathway and two immune factors (TNF and integrin beta-1B) in Cd-exposed oysters at pH 7.6. The results revealed that even though the mRNA expression of genes related to immune responses (TLR pathway and immune factors) was stimulated to counteract the immunosuppression caused by acidified seawater and Cd, depressed hemocyte function perhaps sensitized oysters to potential pathogen infection.

Continue reading ‘The impact of ocean acidification and cadmium on the immune responses of Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas’

Physiological responses of corals to ocean acidification and copper exposure

Highlights

  • Differences in copper accumulation and sensitivity were observed between coral species and between coral and zooxanthellae
  • Increased CO2 did not influence copper accumulation
  • Synergistic effects from combined CO2 and copper exposure were observed in corals
  • Altered enzyme activity was observed in both coral exposed to copper or CO2
  • A. cervicornis was more affected by copper and P. damicornis was more affected by increased CO2

Abstract

Acidification and land-based sources of pollution have been linked to widespread declines of coral cover in coastal reef ecosystems. In this study, two coral species, Acropora cervicornis and Pocillopora damicornis were exposed to increased copper at two CO2 levels for 96 h. Copper accumulation and anti-oxidant enzyme activities were measured. Copper accumulation only increased in A. cervicornis zooxanthellae and corresponded with photosynthetic toxicity. Enzyme activities in both coral species were affected; however, A. cervicornis was more sensitive than P. damicornis, and zooxanthellae were more affected than animal fractions of holobionts. Generally, activities of all anti-oxidant enzymes increased, with copper exposure in corals; whereas, activities of glutathione reductase and to some degree glutathione peroxidase were observed due to increasing CO2 exposure alone. Exposure to copper in combination with higher CO2 resulted in a synergistic response in some cases. These results provide insight into mechanisms of copper and CO2 impacts in corals.

Continue reading ‘Physiological responses of corals to ocean acidification and copper exposure’

Integrated multi-biomarker responses of juvenile seabass to diclofenac, warming and acidification co-exposure

Highlights

• An integrated multi-biomarker approach was used to assess ecotoxicological responses of D. labrax under the co-exposure to DCF, warming and acidification.
• DCF decreased HSI, BBratio, erythrocyte viability and HSP70/HSC70 content in fish brain.
• DCF induced ENAs, oxidative stress, Ub synthesis in muscle, brain AChE activity and liver VTG synthesis.
• DCF deleterious effects were either enhanced or reversed/inhibited by the co-exposure to acidification and/or warming.
• IBR showed that DCF and warming co-exposure resulted in an overall higher degree of stress.
• Results highlighted the need to consider interactions between different stressors in future ecotoxicological studies.

Abstract

Pharmaceutical drugs, such as diclofenac (DCF), are frequently detected in the marine environment, and recent evidence has pointed out their toxicity to non-target marine biota. Concomitantly, altered environmental conditions associated with climate change (e.g. warming and acidification) can also affect the physiology of marine organisms. Yet, the underlying interactions between these environmental stressors (pharmaceutical exposure and climate change-related stressors) still require a deeper understanding. Comprehending the influence of abiotic variables on chemical contaminants’ toxicological attributes provides a broader view of the ecological consequences of climate change. Hence, the aim of this study was to assess the ecotoxicological responses of juvenile seabass Dicenthrachus labrax under the co-exposure to DCF (from dietary sources, 500 ± 36 ng kg-1 dw), warming (ΔTºC = +5 °C) and acidification (ΔpCO2 ~1000 µatm, equivalent to ΔpH = -0.4 units), using an “Integrated Biomarker Response” (IBR) approach. Fish were exposed to these three stressors, acting alone or combined, for 28 days in a full cross-factorial design, and blood, brain, liver and muscle tissues were subsequently collected in order to evaluate: i) animal/organ fitness; ii) hematological parameters and iii) molecular biomarkers. Results not only confirmed the toxicological attributes of dietary exposure to DCF in marine fish species at the tissue (e.g. lower HSI), cellular (e.g. increased ENAs and lower erythrocytes viability) and molecular levels (e.g. increased oxidative stress, protein degradation, AChE activity and VTG synthesis), but also showed that such attributes are altered by warming and acidification. Hence, while acidification and/or warming enhanced some effects of DCF exposure (e.g. by further lowering erythrocyte viability, and increasing brain GST activity and Ub synthesis in muscle), the co-exposure to these abiotic stressors also resulted in a reversion/inhibition of some molecular responses (e.g. lower CAT and SOD inhibition and VTG synthesis). IBRs evidenced that an overall higher degree of stress (i.e. high IBR index) was associated with DCF and warming co-exposure, while the effects of acidification were less evident. The distinct responses observed when DCF acted alone or the animals were co-exposed to the drug together with warming and acidification not only highlighted the relevance of considering the interactions between multiple environmental stressors in ecotoxicological studies, but also suggested that the toxicity of pharmaceuticals can be aggravated by climate change-related stressors (particularly warming), thus, posing additional biological challenges to marine fish populations.

Continue reading ‘Integrated multi-biomarker responses of juvenile seabass to diclofenac, warming and acidification co-exposure’

Does exposure to reduced pH and diclofenac induce oxidative stress in marine bivalves? A comparative study with the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the clam Ruditapes philippinarum

Highlights
• Combined effects of seawater acidification and diclofenac are assessed in bivalves.
• Biochemical parameters were more influenced by reduced pH than by diclofenac.
• Lowered pH induced oxidative stress in M. galloprovincialis and R. philippinarum.
• Lowered pH reduced COX activity in of R. philippinarum.
R. philippinarum is more vulnerable to acidification than M. galloprovincialis.

Abstract
CO2-driven acidification and emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, pose new threats for the maintenance of natural populations of marine organisms by interfering with their normal biochemical pathways and defences. The combined effects of seawater acidification, as predicted in climate change scenarios, and an emerging contaminant (the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, NSAID, diclofenac) on oxidative stress-related parameters were investigated in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum. A flow-through system was used to carry out a three-week exposure experiment with the bivalves. First, the animals were exposed to only three pH values for 7 days. The pH was manipulated by dissolving CO2 in the seawater to obtain two reduced pH treatments (pH −0.4 units and pH −0.7 units), which were compared with seawater at the natural pH level (8.1). Thereafter, the bivalves were concomitantly exposed to the three experimental pH values and environmentally relevant concentrations of diclofenac (0.00, 0.05 and 0.50 μg/L) for an additional 14 days. The activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and cyclooxygenase, and lipid peroxidation and DNA strand-break formation were measured in both the gills and digestive gland after 7, 14 and 21 days of exposure to each experimental condition. The results show that the biochemical parameters measured in both the mussels and clams were more influenced by the reduced pH than by the contaminant or the pH*contaminant interaction, although the biomarker variation patterns differed depending on the species and tissues analysed. Generally, due to increases in its antioxidant defence, M. galloprovincialis was more resistant than R. philippinarum to both diclofenac exposure and reduced pH. Conversely, reduced pH induced a significant decrease in COX activity in both the gills and digestive gland of clams, possibly resulting in the increased DNA damage observed in the digestive gland tissue.

Continue reading ‘Does exposure to reduced pH and diclofenac induce oxidative stress in marine bivalves? A comparative study with the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the clam Ruditapes philippinarum’


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