Determination of biomarkers for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) toxicity to earthworm (Eisenia fetida)

Tae Hoon Nam, Hwang Ju Jeon, Hyung ho Mo, Kijong Cho, Yong Sik Ok, Sung Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds are persistent, carcinogenic, and mutagenic. When PAHs enter agricultural soils through sewage sludge, they pose an environmental risk to soil organisms, including earthworms. Therefore, we aimed to determine the toxic effects of PAHs on earthworms. Five PAHs were used: fluorene, anthracene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and pyrene. Only fluorene and phenanthrene exhibited toxicity (LC50 values 394.09 and 114.02 g L−1, respectively) against the earthworm Eisenia fetida. None of the other PAHs tested in this study enhanced the mortality of adult earthworm until the concentrations reached to 1000 g L−1. After exposure to PAHs, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in E. fetida decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, and phenanthrene exhibited the strongest inhibitory effect on AChE, followed by fluorene. Activity of a representative detoxifying enzyme, carboxylesterase, was dramatically reduced in E. fetida exposed to all tested PAHs in comparison with that observed in the control test. The remaining glutathione S-transferase activity significantly decreased in E. fetida after exposure to PAHs. To profile small proteins <20 kDa, SELDI-TOF MS with Q10 ProteinChips was used, and 54 proteins were identified as being significantly different from the control (p = 0.05). Among them, the expressions of three proteins at 4501.8, 4712.4, and 4747.9 m/z were only enhanced in E. fetida exposed to anthracene and pyrene. One protein with 16,174 m/z was selectively expressed in E. fetida exposed to fluorene, phenanthrene, and fluoranthene. These proteins may be potential biomarkers for the five PAHs tested in E. fetida.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-951
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental geochemistry and health
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 29

Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • SELDI-TOF MS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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