Cadmium Accumulation and Antioxidant Responses in Sparus aurata Exposed to Waterborne Cadmium
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Cadmium (Cd), a nonessential trace element, is rapidly accumulated by most living organisms and subsequently exerts its toxicity at different molecular levels. This study exposed gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) to waterborne 0.1 mg/l Cd for 11 days and investigated the Cd accumulation pattern, lipid oxidation, and response of antioxidant defences. At the end of the experiment, mean Cd concentrations in gills and liver, the organs most prone to metal accumulation, were 209.4 and 371.7 ng/g ww, respectively. Muscle did not show any Cd retention during the 11 days of exposure. In liver, the cytosolic fraction of the metal was chelated into the nontoxic form by metallothionein (MT), a specific Cd-inducible protein. Zn and Cu concentrations were not influenced by Cd exposure. Glutathione (GSH) concentrations and the antioxidant enzyme activities of GSH reductase and GSH peroxidase showed an overall decreasing trend. In addition, lipid and aqueous hydroperoxide levels did not show any significant variation. Oxidative stress indirectly generated by Cd seems to be compensated for by the different biochemical systems tailored to decrease cellular damage. In particular, the negative effects of Cd accumulation in tissues were probably counteracted by the induction of MT.
KeywordsGSSG Lipid Hydroperoxide Xylenol Orange Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake Exposed Fish
This project was funded by a grant from MIUR (Grant No. 2005073277_001) to E. C.
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