, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 249–262

The induction of stress proteins (hsp) in Oniscus asellus (Isopoda) as a molecular marker of multiple heavy metal exposure: I. Principles and toxicological assessment

  • Helga Eckwert
  • Gerd Alberti
  • Heinz-R Kohler

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018682928839

Cite this article as:
Eckwert, H., Alberti, G. & Kohler, HR. Ecotoxicology (1997) 6: 249. doi:10.1023/A:1018682928839


The induction of stress-70 (hsp70) and stress-60 (hsp60, chaperonin 60) in the terrestrial woodlouse, Oniscus asellus, after exposure to various heavy metals and heavy metal combinations was investigated by means of standard Western-blot using monoclonal antibodies. The expression of stress-70 was found to react much more sensitively to metal contamination than that of stress-60. The general course of the stress-70 response to increasing metal concentration was found to be similar for all treatments. Based on the obtained results, this course could be divided into three zones: in the first zone, the expression of stress-70 proteins was only marginally increased by comparatively low metal concentrations; in the second zone, strong induction of stress-70 occurred and the ability of the heat shock system to react to increased metal concentrations reached its climax; and in the third, non-compensation zone, a further increase in heavy metal concentration resulted in a decline of stress-70 levels, which can be interpreted as a result of pathological tissue damage. Combinations of metals were found to increase the stress- 70 level more intensely than related concentrations of singularly applied metals. Based on these studies, a ranking scheme of increasing toxicological impact of a variety of heavy metal combinations was composed

biomarkers heavy metal combinations hsp70 hsp60 isopods stress proteins 

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helga Eckwert
    • 1
  • Gerd Alberti
    • 2
  • Heinz-R Kohler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology, Zoological InstituteUniversity of TubingenTubingen FRG
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswald FRG
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, Zoological InstituteUniversity of TubingenTubingen FRG

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