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Limited oxidative stress in common carp (Cyprinus carpio, L., 1758) exposed to a sublethal tertiary (Cu, Cd and Zn) metal mixture

Pillet, M., Castaldo, G., De Weggheleire, S., Bervoets, L., Blust, R., De Boeck, G.
Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.218 pp. 70-80
Cyprinus carpio, antioxidant activity, apoptosis, cadmium, caspase-9, catalase, copper, defense mechanisms, ecosystems, enzyme activity, free radicals, genes, gills, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione transferase, glutathione-disulfide reductase, liver, malondialdehyde, oxidative stress, pollution, risk, superoxide dismutase, transcription (genetics), xanthine oxidase, zinc
Analyzing effects of metal mixtures is important to obtain a realistic understanding of the impact of mixed stress in natural ecosystems. The impact of a one-week exposure to a sublethal metal mixture containing copper (4.8 μg/L), cadmium (2.9 μg/L) and zinc (206.8 μg/L) was evaluated in the common carp (Cyprinus carpio). To explore whether this exposure induced oxidative stress or whether defense mechanisms were sufficiently fitting to prevent oxidative stress, indicators of apoptosis (expression of caspase 9 [CASP] gene) and of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde [MDA] level and xanthine oxidase [XO] activity) were measured in liver and gills, as well as activities and gene expression of enzymes involved in antioxidant defense (superoxide dismutase [SOD], catalase [CAT], glutathione peroxidase [GPx], glutathione reductase [GR] and glutathione-S-transferase [GST]). The total antioxidative capacity (T-AOC) was also quantified. No proof of oxidative stress was found in either tissue but there was indication of apoptosis in the liver. CAT, GPx, GR and GST total activities were reduced after 7 days, suggesting a potential decrease of glutathione levels and risk of increased free radicals if the exposure would have lasted longer. There were no major changes in the total activities of antioxidant enzymes in the gills, but the relative expression of the genes coding for CAT and GR were triggered, suggesting a response at the transcription level. These results indicate that C. carpio is well equipped to handle these levels of metal pollution, at least during short term exposure.