Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 7991–8002 | Cite as

Expression of biotransformation and oxidative stress genes in the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii exposed to chlordecone

  • Béatrice Gaume
  • Nathalie Dodet
  • Jean-Pierre Thomé
  • Soazig LemoineEmail author
Crop protection: environment, human health, and biodiversity


Chlordecone is a persistent organochlorine pesticide widely used between 1972 and 1993 in the French West Indies to control the root borer in banana fields. Chlordecone use resulted in long-term pollution of soils, contamination of waters, of aquatic organisms, and of fields. Chlordecone is known to be neurotoxic, to increase prostate cancer, and to have negative effects on cognitive and motor development during infancy. In Guadeloupe, most of the freshwater species living in contaminated rivers exceed the French legal limit of 20 μg·kg−1 wet weight. In the present study, we chose a transcriptomic approach to study the cellular effects of chlordecone in the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii, an important economical species in Guadeloupe. Quantitative PCR revealed an induction of genes involved in defense mechanism against oxidative stress (catalase and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase) in prawns exposed to low environmental concentrations of chlordecone after 12 and 24 h of exposure. In prawns reared in a contaminated farm, transcription of genes involved in the biotransformation process (cytochrome P450 and glutathione-S-transferase (GST)) were induced after 8 days of exposure. Our results provide information on the mechanims of defense induced by chlordecone in aquatic crustacean species. This gene expression study of selected genes should be further strengthened by proteomic analyses and enzymatic activity assays to confirm the response of these biomarkers of stress in crustaceans and to give new insights into the mechanism of toxicity by chlordecone.


Chlordecone Macrobrachium rosenbergii Bioconcentration Detoxification Oxidative stress Quantitative PCR Organochlorine Crustaceans 



We are grateful to Yolande Bouchon Navarro, Claude Bouchon, and Félix Bompy for their help in statistical analyses. This work was supported by grants from the National Research Agency (ANR CES MACHLOMA) and the Regional council of Guadeloupe for postdoctoral grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Béatrice Gaume
    • 1
  • Nathalie Dodet
    • 2
  • Jean-Pierre Thomé
    • 2
  • Soazig Lemoine
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.DYNECAR-UMR BOREA (MNHN/CNRS 7208/IRD 207/UPMC)Université des Antilles et de la GuyanePointe-à-PitreGuadeloupe
  2. 2.Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology, CART (Center for Analytical Research and Technology)Université of LiègeSart-TilmanBelgium

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