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Environ Pollut. 2013 Mar;174:121-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.10.030. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Antioxidant defense system responses and DNA damage of earthworms exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

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College of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang Shuren University, Hangzhou 310015, China.


The use of earthworms as a sublethal endpoint has significantly contributed to the ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils. Few studies have focused on the potential toxicity of PFOS to earthworms in the soil. In this work, artificial soils were tested, and contact filter paper studies were used. The results showed that earthworm growth was generally inhibited. The antioxidant activities of the enzymes superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase were initially activated and then inhibited. Reduced glutathione content was observed, and malondialdehyde content was elevated over the duration of the exposure. These results suggested that PFOS induced oxidative stress in earthworms. In addition, the values of olive tail moment, tail DNA% and tail length using SCGE showed similar frequency distributions and increased with increases in the PFOS concentration. These results suggest that all concentrations of PFOS cause DNA damage.

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