Biochemical and standard toxic effects of acetaminophen on the macrophyte species Lemna minor and Lemna gibba
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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.
KeywordsAquatic plants Pharmaceutical drugs Paracetamol Oxidative stress Biomarkers
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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