Trace Metals and Variations of Antioxidant Enzymes in Arctic Bivalve Populations
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In the framework of an INTAS project, arctic populations of the clam Macoma balthica were collected from seven stations (Mezen, Khaypudyr, Pechora 3, Pechora 5, Dvina, Keret 1, and Keret 2) in the White Sea and Pechora Sea. The main objectives of this research were to define baseline concentrations of trace metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn) in M. balthica and to evaluate antioxidant responses as biomarkers of anthropogenic stress in these organisms. The antioxidant parameters examined included the levels of glutathione and the activities of several glutathione-dependent and antioxidant enzymes: glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II (EC 126.96.36.199 and EC 188.8.131.52), glutathione S-transferases (EC 184.108.40.206), glutathione reductase (EC 220.127.116.11), glutathione peroxidases (EC18.104.22.168 and EC 22.214.171.124, respectively, for Se-dependent and Se-independent forms), superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 126.96.36.199), and catalase (EC 188.8.131.52). Organisms revealed enhanced concentrations of lead in both Keret stations, Khaypudyr, and Mezen, and high levels of copper in Keret and cadmium in Khaypudyr. At the biochemical level, organisms from Pechora 3, Pechora 5, and Dvina were not statistically different, whereas those from Mezen and Khaypudyr exhibited higher activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glyoxalase II. Catalase levels were lower in Mezen and Khaypudyr. More heterogeneous were the responses of glyoxalase I and glutathione S-transferases, while no significant differences among the stations were observed for glutathione reductase. Multiple regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between the main antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidases, superoxide dismutase, glyoxalase I, and glyoxalase II), and confirmed the exception of catalase, which, when significant, was negatively correlated with the other parameters. The results support the suitability of antioxidant responses as biomarkers of pollutant exposure and/or toxicity for arctic biomonitoring programs even though only moderately polluted sites were sampled.
KeywordsGlutathione Antioxidant Enzyme Catalase Superoxide Dismutase Bivalve
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