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An insect model for assessing oxidative stress related to arsenic toxicity

Zaman, Khalequz, MacGill, Randall S., Johnson, James E., Ahmad, Sami, Pardini, Ronald S.
Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology 1995 v.29 no.2 pp. 199-209
Musca domestica, Trichoplusia ni, arsenic, chemical speciation, toxicity, oxidation, lethal dose, enzyme activity, glutathione reductase (NADPH), catalase, glutathione transferase, superoxide dismutase, antioxidants, lipid peroxidation, animal models, pollutants
The potential usefulness of an insect model to evaluate oxidative stress induced by environmental pollutants was examined with trivalent arsenic (As³⁺, NaAsO₂) and pentavalent arsenic (As⁵⁺, Na₂HAsO₄) in adult female house flies, Musca domestica, and fourth‐instar cabbage loopers, Trichoplusia ni. M. domestica was highly susceptible to both forms of arsenic following 48 h exposure in the drinking water with LC₅₀s of 0.008 and 0.011% w/v for As³⁺ and As⁵⁺, respectively. T. ni larvae were susceptible to dietary As³⁺ with an LC₅₀ of 0.032% w/w but seem to tolerate As⁵⁺ well with an LC₅₀ of 0.794% concentration after 48 h exposure. The minimally acute LC₅ dose of both As³⁺ and As⁵⁺ varied considerably but averaged 0.005% for both insects. The potential of both valencies of arsenic for inducing oxidative stress in the insects exposed ad libitum to approximately LC₅ levels was assessed. The parameters examined were the alterations of the antioxidant enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione transferase (GST), the peroxidase activity of glutathione transferase (GSTPX), and glutathione reductase (GR), and increases in lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. SOD (1.3‐fold), GST (1.6‐fold), and GR (1.5‐fold) were induced by As³⁺ in M. domestica but CAT and GSTPX were not affected. As⁵⁺ had no effect on M. domestica. In T. ni, the antioxidant enzyme activities were not affected by As³⁺ except for SOD which was suppressed by 29.4% and GST which was induced by 1.4‐fold. As⁵⁺ had no effect except the suppression of SOD by 41.2%. Lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, which represent stronger indices of oxidative stress, were elevated in both insects by up to 2.9‐fold. However, based on the antioxidant enzyme response to the arsenic anions, the mode of action of arsenic induced oxidative stress may differ between the two insects. Until this aspect is further clarified, evidence at this time favors the prospect of As³⁺ as a pro‐oxidant, especially for M. domestica. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.