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Ecotoxicology. 2012 Apr;21(3):888-905. doi: 10.1007/s10646-012-0851-1. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

One-year monitoring of core biomarker and digestive enzyme responses in transplanted zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha).

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EA2069 URVVC-SE, Laboratoire d'Ecologie - Ecotoxicologie, UFR Sciences, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Moulin de Housse, BP 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France.


A 12-month active biomonitoring study was performed in 2008-2009 on the Vesle river basin (Champagne-Ardenne, France) using the freshwater mussel Dreissena polymorpha as a sentinel species; allochthonous mussels originating from a reference site (Commercy) were exposed at four sites (Bouy, Sept-Saulx, Fismes, Ardre) within the Vesle river basin. Selected core biomarkers (acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, glutathione-S transferase (GST) activity, metallothionein concentration), along with digestive enzyme activities (amylase, endocellulase) and energy reserve concentrations (glycogen, lipids), were monitored throughout the study in exposed mussels. At the Fismes and Ardre sites (downstream basin), metallic and organic contamination levels were low but still high enough to elicit AChE and GST activity induction in exposed mussels (chemical stress); besides, chemical pollutants had no apparent deleterious effects on mussel condition. At the Bouy and Sept-Saulx sites (upstream basin), mussels obviously suffered from adverse food conditions which seriously impaired individual physiological state and survival (nutritional stress); food scarcity had however no apparent effects on core biomarker responses. Digestive enzyme activities responded to both chemical and nutritional stresses, the increase in energy outputs (general adaptation syndrome-downstream sites) or the decrease in energy inputs (food scarcity-upstream sites) leading to mid- or long-term induction of digestive carbohydrase activities in exposed mussels (energy optimizing strategy). Complex regulation patterns of these activities require nevertheless the use of a multi-marker approach to allow data interpretation. Besides, their sensitivity to natural confounding environmental factors remains to be precised.

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