Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) Activity in Dab (Limanda limanda) as Biomarker for Marine Monitoring (6 pp)
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Goal, Scope and Background
Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) is a well-accepted marker for biological effects in fish and is, therefore, part of numerous monitoring programmes. EROD activity was measured in livers of dab (Limanda limanda) from the German Bight (North Sea) from 1995 to 2003. The aim of the present long-term study was (a) time trend monitoring of EROD activity of dab from the German Bight and (b) to elucidate the needs for a successful application of EROD activity as an early warning system. Methods. EROD activities were determined fluorimetrically in dab liver microsomes, using resorufin as an external standard. The limit of detection (LD) and the limit of quantification (LQ) were calculated. Results were referred to protein concentrations. Results and Discussion. EROD activities of 610 female dab caught in different seasons between January 1995 and August 2003 were analyzed individually. Activities varied from 〈 LD to 1768 pmol/(min mg protein) and showed an annual cycle as well as significant differences between the years. Highest EROD activities were observed in early summer and lowest activities during the winter period. In autumn 2002, significantly elevated EROD activities were detected, possibly related to effects of the River Elbe flood event. Two scenarios with different EROD baseline data are presented to discuss the prerequisites for the use of EROD as a monitoring tool. The comparison of these scenarios underlines the importance of appropriate season-specific baseline data. Conclusion. The use of EROD as an early warning tool for contaminant effects in dab in the German Bight has different prospects during the year, because, due to the high background variability, elevated EROD activities are less easy to detect in spring/summer than during the remaining times of the year. Recommendation and Outlook. The availability of site-specific data on the EROD baseline level, its random variation and its annual cycle is a necessary prerequisite for monitoring. If monitoring is to be carried out only for a limited time period of the year, a season with low background variability in EROD activity (autumn) should be chosen to avoid the need for a compensation of the temperature-triggered shift in sexual cycles and the resulting changes in EROD activity.
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