Application of a biomarker battery for the evaluation of the sublethal effects of pollutants in the earthworm Eisenia andrei

Gastaldi, Laura; Ranzato, Elia; Capri, Flavia; Hankard, Peter; Pérès, Guénola; Canesi, Laura; Viarengo, Aldo; Pons, Giovanni. 2007 Application of a biomarker battery for the evaluation of the sublethal effects of pollutants in the earthworm Eisenia andrei. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, 146 (3). 398-405.

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We applied a battery of biomarkers in the earthworm Eisenia andrei to assess the pollutant-induced stress syndrome. Earthworms were exposed to sublethal concentrations of copper (1–10 μM) and benzo[a]pyrene (0.01–10 μM) as models of inorganic and organic pollutants for 1, 3 and 7 days. Four potential biomarkers of stress were measured: lysosomal membrane stability of coelomocytes, lysosomal accumulation of lipofuscin in chloragogenous tissue and of neutral lipids in coelomatic cells, plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase activity in the intestinal epithelium; metallothionein content was also evaluated as a biomarker of exposure. Significant changes were observed in the parameters measured in earthworms exposed to both contaminants. Certain biomarkers, such as lysosomal membrane stability and Ca2+-ATPase activity, that showed a decreasing trend with increasing pollutant concentration and time of exposure, proved to be particularly suitable to describe the evolution of a stress syndrome from its early phase to the development of pathological conditions. On the other hand, contaminant-induced changes in lysosomal lipofuscin and neutral lipid accumulation showed a bell-shaped trend, indicating that these biomarkers are able to follow the development of pollutant-induced stress syndrome as far as an equilibrium in the cell functions is maintained; therefore, they are particularly useful to describe mild stress conditions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
Additional Keywords: biomarkers, benzo[a]pyrene, copper, earthworms, Eisenia andrei, stress syndrome
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Dec 2007 14:20 +0 (UTC)

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