Biomarkers indicate mixture toxicities of fluorene and phenanthrene with endosulfan toward earthworm (Eisenia fetida)
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- Nam, TH., Kim, L., Jeon, HJ. et al. Environ Geochem Health (2017) 39: 307. doi:10.1007/s10653-016-9876-3
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α-Endosulfan and some polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs) are persistent in the environment and can reach crop products via contaminated agricultural soils. They may even be present as mixtures in the soil and induce mixture toxicity in soil organisms such as earthworms. In this study, the combined toxicities of PAHs with α-endosulfan were determined in Eisenia fetida adults using an artificial soil system. α-Endosulfan and five PAHs were tested for their acute toxicity toward E. fetida in artificial soils. Only α-endosulfan, fluorene, and phenanthrene showed acute toxicities, with LC50 values of 9.7, 133.2, and 86.2 mg kg−1, respectively. A mixture toxicity assay was conducted using α-endosulfan at LC10 and fluorene or phenanthrene at LC50 in the artificial soils. Upon exposure to the mixture of fluorene and α-endosulfan, earthworms were killed in increasing numbers owing to their synergistic effects, while no other mixture showed any additional toxicity toward the earthworms. Along with the acute toxicity results, the biochemical and molecular changes in the fluorene- and phenanthrene-treated earthworms with or without α-endosulfan treatment demonstrated that enhancement of glutathione S-transferase activity was dependent on the addition of PAH chemicals, and the HSP70 gene expression increased with the addition of α-endosulfan. Taken together, these findings contribute toward understanding the adverse effects of pollutants when present separately or in combination with other types of chemicals.