Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 18, pp 10815–10822 | Cite as

Biochemical and standard toxic effects of acetaminophen on the macrophyte species Lemna minor and Lemna gibba

  • Bruno Nunes
  • Glória Pinto
  • Liliana Martins
  • Fernando Gonçalves
  • Sara C. Antunes
Research Article

Abstract

Acetaminophen is globally one of the most prescribed drugs due to its antipyretic and analgesic properties. However, it is highly toxic when the dosage surpasses the detoxification capability of an exposed organism, with involvement of an already described oxidative stress pathway. To address the issue of the ecotoxicity of acetaminophen, we performed acute exposures of two aquatic plant species, Lemna gibba and Lemna minor, to this compound. The selected biomarkers were number of fronds, biomass, chlorophyll content, lipid peroxidation (TBARS assay), and proline content. Our results showed marked differences between the two species. Acetaminophen caused a significant decrease in the number of fronds (EC50 = 446.6 mg/L), and the establishment of a dose-dependent peroxidative damage in L. minor, but not in L. gibba. No effects were reported in both species for the indicative parameters chlorophyll content and total biomass. However, the proline content in L. gibba was substantially reduced. The overall conclusions point to the occurrence of an oxidative stress scenario more prominent for L. minor. However, the mechanisms that allowed L. gibba to cope with acetaminophen exposure were distinct from those reported for L. minor, with the likely involvement of proline as antioxidant.

Keywords

Aquatic plants Pharmaceutical drugs Paracetamol Oxidative stress Biomarkers 

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. Glória Pinto was hired under the programme Ciência 2008 (FCT, Portugal) and Bruno Nunes under the programme Investigador FCT co-funded by the Human Potential Operational Programme (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007–2013) and European Social Fund (EU).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Nunes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Glória Pinto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liliana Martins
    • 3
  • Fernando Gonçalves
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara C. Antunes
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM)Universidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia da Universidade de AveiroCampus Universitário de SantiagoAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde da Universidade Fernando Pessoa (FCS-UFP)PortoPortugal
  4. 4.Departamento de Biologia da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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