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Ecotoxicology

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 1896–1905 | Cite as

Ecotoxicological effect of zinc pyrithione in the freshwater fish Gambusia holbrooki

  • B. Nunes
  • M. R. Braga
  • J. C. Campos
  • R. Gomes
  • A. S. Ramos
  • S. C. Antunes
  • A. T. Correia
Article

Abstract

Currently diverse biocidal agents can be used for distinct applications, such as personal hygiene, disinfection, antiparasitic activity, and antifouling effects. Zinc pyrithione is an organometallic biocide, with bactericidal, algicidal and fungicidal activities. It has been recently incorporated in antifouling formulas, such as paints, which prevent the establishment of a biofilm on surfaces exposed to the aquatic environment. It has also been used in cosmetics, such as anti-dandruff shampoos and soaps. Previously reported data has shown the presence of this substance in the aquatic compartment, a factor contributing to the potential exertion of toxic effects, and there is also evidence that photodegradation products of zinc pyrithione were involved in neurotoxic effects, namely by inhibiting cholinesterases in fish species. Additional evidence points to the involvement of zinc pyrithione in alterations of metal homeostasis and oxidative stress, in both aquatic organisms and human cell models. The present work assesses the potential ecotoxicity elicited by zinc pyrithione in the freshwater fish Gambusia holbrooki after an acute (96 h) exposure. The oxidative stress was assessed by the quantification of the activities of specific enzymes from the antioxidant defense system, such as catalase, and glutathione-S-transferases; and the extent of peroxidative damage was quantified by measuring the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances levels. Neurotoxicity was assessed through measurement of acetylcholinesterase activity; and a standardized method for the description and assessment of histological changes in liver and gills of was also used. Zinc pyrithione caused non-specific and reversible tissue alterations, both in liver and gills of exposed organisms. However, histopathological indices were not significantly different from the control group. In terms of oxidative stress biomarkers, none of the tested biomarkers indicated the occurrence of pro-oxidative effects, suggesting that the oxidative pathway is not the major toxicological outcome of exposure to zinc pyrithione.

Keywords

Antifouling Organometallics Biomarkers Histological damage Mosquitofish Oxidative stress Neurotoxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by European Funds through COMPETE and by National Funds through the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) within project PEst-C/MAR/LA0017/2013. Bruno Nunes was hired under the programme Investigador FCT, co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007–2013) and European Social Fund (EU). We would like to thank the highly valuable contribution of Dr. Jonathan Wilson for the revision of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Nunes
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. R. Braga
    • 3
  • J. C. Campos
    • 3
  • R. Gomes
    • 3
  • A. S. Ramos
    • 4
  • S. C. Antunes
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. T. Correia
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Campus Universitário de SantiagoUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Campus Universitário de SantiagoUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde da Universidade Fernando Pessoa (FCS-UFP)PortoPortugal
  4. 4.Departamento de BiologiaFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto (FCUP)PortoPortugal
  5. 5.Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR - CIMAR)PortoPortugal

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