Joint effects of Penta-BDE and heavy metals on Daphnia magna survival, its antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation

Research Article


The joint toxicity of Penta-BDE (Pe-BDE) and heavy metals including cadmium and copper on Daphnia magna (D. magna) was evaluated on the basis of determining the 48 h survival, antioxidative enzyme responses, and lipid peroxidation. The response was classified as additive, greater than additive, or less than additive by comparing the measured “toxic units, TU” with one. Based on the survival of D. magna, less-than-additive interactions were found in most of mixtures treatments. This may be attributed to the different toxicity mechanism between Pe-BDE and metals. Cu and Cd played a greater role in toxicity than what Pe-BDE did. As for the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity, most response was less than additive. For the glutathione S-transferases (GST) activity, most of the greater-thanadditive responses were found in the Cu plus Pe-BDE treatments, but the additive responses occurred in Cd plus Pe-BDE treatments and binary metal treatments. For lipid peroxide levels, which were measured as malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, less-than-additive response occurred in the 50% Cd plus 50% Cu and ternary mixture treatments. Results suggested that Pe-BDE, Cd, and Cu could induce different patterns of antioxidant enzyme responses, such as antioxidant/prooxidant responses, depending on their capability to produce reactive oxygen species and antioxidant enzymes to detoxify them.


polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) heavy metal mixture toxicity toxic units (TUs) antioxidant enzyme lipid peroxidation 


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria (Ministry of Education)Nankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution ControlNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecological Process, Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina

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