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Biomarker-enhanced assessment of reproductive disorders in Monoporeia affinis exposed to contaminated sediment in the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We evaluated the relationship between the general toxicity biomarkers (acetylcholinesterase [AChE], lysosomal membrane stability [LMS], antioxidant status measured as oxygen radical absorbance capacity [ORAC]) and embryo aberrations used as bioindicators of contamination in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis. Biomarkers and embryo aberrations were assayed in gravid M. affinis females collected in ten sites located in the Bothnian Sea and Bothnian Bay, together with sediments that were analyzed for PCBs, PAHs and metals. Female antioxidant capacity (ORAC) was positively related to the occurrence of females carrying malformed and membrane-damaged embryos and to the percentage of malformed and/or membrane-damaged embryos in their broods. Moreover, AChE inhibition was observed in concert with increased frequencies of membrane-damaged embryos in the brood, whereas high AChE activity coincided with percentage of embryos with arrested development. Positive relationships were also found between female ORAC levels and number of eggs per female, and between female AChE activity and embryo developmental stage. Also, significant positive correlations were found between AChE activity and ORAC values in the females and concentrations of metals and PAHs in the sediment, while there was a negative correlation between embryo ORAC and some PCB congeners. Partial Linear Square Regression (PLSR) models explained over 80 percent of the variation in the ORAC and AChE values in gravid M. affinis by variation in PCB, PAH and metal concentrations, in combination with environmental variables, such as salinity, depth and TOC. Specifically, ORAC levels were predicted to decrease in response to increased concentrations of CB180 and PAM4,9 and conversely to increase as a result of a mixture of PAHs (BAP, BJKF, BEP, PYRM1, BBF, CHR and FLU) and metals (Cr and V). AChE activity was predicted to increase by exposure to metals (Co, Zn, Ni, Cr and V) and the PAH COR, while inhibition of AChE activity was predicted by increased concentrations of two PCB congeners (CB138 and CB118). PLSR models also showed a positive relationship between salinity and ORAC and AChE in females, while AChE activity was negatively related to total organic carbon content in the sediment. Moreover, bottom depth was included in the AChE model to explain variation in AChE activity from the above mentioned set of explanatory variables. The data set for LMS, being substantially shorter, was analyzed for differences between four sampling sites. The differences found did not reflect variations in sediment concentrations of PAH, PCB and metals. Linking subcellular responses to the reproduction effects facilitates environmental stress assessment and understanding of the response mechanisms. 

Keyword [en]
Biomarkers, AChE, ORAC, LMS, Contaminated sediment, Bioindicators, Reproduction, Embryo aberrations, In situ effects, Monoporeia affinis, Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia
National Category
Natural Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science; Ecotoxicology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102843OAI: diva2:713538
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 217246Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2014-04-23
In thesis
1. Biomarkers and bioindicators of hypoxia and sediment toxicity in Monoporeia affinis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biomarkers and bioindicators of hypoxia and sediment toxicity in Monoporeia affinis
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two of the most pressing environmental problems in the Baltic Sea are pollution and oxygen deficiency. The aim of this doctoral thesis was to evaluate a set of biomarkers and reproductive variables in the amphipod Monoporeia affinis to test their suitability as indicators of exposure to contaminants and hypoxia. In Paper I and Paper II, field-sampled M. affinis were exposed to varying oxygen conditions in combination with contaminated or reference sediment. Paper I showed that the combined effect of hypoxia and contaminants induced larger increases in antioxidant enzyme activities and higher levels of damaged lipids, resulting from oxidative stress, than single-stress treatments. The biomarkers AChE and GST responded only to the contaminant exposure. Paper II demonstrated that M. affinis can prepare against oxidative stress that facilitates recovery after a hypoxic episode, but that exposure to contaminants altered this response and resulted in higher baselines of antioxidants during hypoxia and no response upon reoxygenation. Paper III linked the occurrence of different embryo aberrations in M. affinis to concentrations of PAHs, PCBs and metals in sediments in the field. A key finding is that different types of embryo aberrations were associated with specific contaminant groups in the sediment. Paper IV addressed the link between biomarkers and bioindicators in M. affinis and found positive associations between increased antioxidant capacity in females and higher occurrence and frequencies of malformed and membrane-damaged embryos. AChE inhibition was linked to frequency of membrane-damaged embryos. Links between biomarker response and fecundity and embryo developmental stage were also established. Further, a large part of the variation in female antioxidant capacity and AChE activity could be explained by variation in concentrations of different metals, PAHs and PCB congeners, in combination with the environmental variables salinity, depth and sediment TOC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 2014. 35 p.
Biomarkers, Bioindicators, Embryo aberrations, Hypoxia, Contaminated sediment, PAHs, PCBs, Metals, Baltic Sea, Amphipods, Monoporeia affinis
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102828 (URN)978-91-7447-905-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-28, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript; Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-06 Created: 2014-04-22 Last updated: 2014-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Löf, MarieSundelin, BritaBandh, CeciliaGorokhova, Elena
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