Integrative assessment of biomarker responses in pale chub (Zacco platypus) exposed to copper and benzo[a]pyrene

Woo Keun Kim, Sung Kyu Lee, Kyungho Choi, Jinho Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-level biomarker responses (molecular/biochemical and histological/physiological levels) were studied to assess the sublethal toxicities of copper (Cu: 1.25, 5, and 20μg/L) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP: 0.5, 5, and 50μg/L) induced in the freshwater pale chub Zacco platypus. Except for the kidney tissues when exposed to 20μg Cu/L, no significant differences were observed at the histological or physiological levels among the treatment groups. However, various molecular and biochemical responses were observed in Z. platypus, and these responses primarily depended on exposure time. Upon Cu exposure, both DNA single-strand breaks (COMET) and metallothionein (MT) concentration significantly increased after 4 days, whereas there were no significant changes after 14 days of exposure. Both 4 and 14 days of BaP exposure induced significant increases in COMET and 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity, but there was no significant difference between them. Additionally, both Cu and BaP induced acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity only after 14 days of exposure. The current findings demonstrate that the differences in the responses of MT and EROD are associated with each chemical's particular mode of action. Biomarker responses at the molecular and biochemical levels were quantized in terms of the integrated biomarker response (IBR) index to compare the toxicities of Cu and BaP. The IBR values were well correlated with the concentrations of Cu and BaP, and the correlations were enhanced at 4 days of exposure (r2=0.849 and 0.945, respectively) compared with 14 days (r2=0. 412 and 0.634, respectively). These results suggest that the IBR index may be a useful tool for the integrative quantification of the molecular and biochemical biomarker responses in a short-term exposure to Cu and BaP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 1


  • Biochemical endpoint
  • Histological endpoint
  • Integrated biomarker response
  • Molecular biomarker
  • Physiological endpoint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrative assessment of biomarker responses in pale chub (Zacco platypus) exposed to copper and benzo[a]pyrene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this