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Oxidative processes as indicators of chemical stress in marine bivalves

Abstract

Deleterious effects of environmental contaminants could be due to enhanced prooxidant forces overcoming antioxidant defences. Before practical biomarkers based on free radical biology will be generally accepted and validated in situ, additional research is required concerning normal physiological and environmental influences on the relevant systems. The aims of this study were to evaluate in situ the importance of oxyradical production in the presence and absence of pollutants and to characterize some antioxidant systems in Mytilus edulis L. Specimens of M. edulis L. were transplanted from a reference site (Franquelin) to Baie Comeau (Baie des Anglais), on the North shore of the St. Lawrence maritime estuary, where are found aluminium and pulp and paper plants. An oxidative stress was observed in mussels submitted to a chronic exposure in the polluted environment. Variations of pro-and anti-oxidant molecules involved in oxidative processes were related in part to seasonal and physico-chemical influences. Catalase activity, malondialdehyde and glutathione concentrations will be useful as biomarkers of stress in situ since they react to anthropogenic influence and to abiotic factors such as emersion period and temperature.

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Pellerin-Massicotte, J. Oxidative processes as indicators of chemical stress in marine bivalves. J Aquat Ecosyst Stress Recov 3, 101–111 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00042940

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Key words

  • biomarkers
  • Mytilus edulis L.
  • free radicals
  • environmental factors