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Stereoselective bioaccumulation and elimination of chiral PCBs 95 and 149 in earthworm Eisenia fetida

He, Zeying, Xu, Yaping, Wang, Wenwen, Liu, Xiaowei
Chemosphere 2018 v.212 pp. 497-503
Eisenia fetida, bioaccumulation, biotransformation, earthworms, enantiomers, exposure duration, hydroxylation, metabolites, polychlorinated biphenyls, stereoselectivity, trophic levels
The chiral signatures and environmental behaviors of chiral polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been extensively studied. However, information regarding chiral PCBs in invertebrates, especially earthworms, is limited. This study aimed to investigate the stereoselective bioaccumulation, elimination, and biotransformation of chiral PCBs 95 and 149 in an earthworm-soil system. Preferential enrichment of (+)-atropisomers and elimination of (−)-atropisomers were observed, for both PCBs 95 and 149, during the uptake and elimination phases, respectively, leading to higher enantiomer fractions (EFs). A significant linear correlation between the total concentrations of chiral PCBs and EF values was found in earthworms. The EF values increased with the increase in exposure time and further increased during the elimination phase, indicating the biotransformation of chiral PCBs. Hydroxylated metabolites of PCB 95 were found in earthworms for the first time, thus verifying the ability of earthworms to metabolize chiral PCBs. However, no methylsulfonyl metabolites were observed for PCBs 95 and 149. These findings might be helpful for understanding the biological processes of chiral PCBs in species at lower trophic levels.