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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2013 Sep;95:33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Pseudo-basal levels of and distribution of anti-oxidant enzyme biomarkers in Eisenia fetida and effect of exposure to phenanthrene.

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College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, PR China.


In the paper, the pseudo-basal levels of anti-oxidant system in different earthworm life stages (juvenile and adult) and the pseudo-basal distribution in different regions of adult earthworms (pre-clitellum, clitellum and post-clitellum) were studied using filter contact tests. The effects of phenanthrene (PHE) at different exposure levels on anti-oxidant enzymes along the earthworm body were also investigated after 24 and 48h of exposure. The pseudo-basal levels of the anti-oxidant enzymes varied during the different growth phase, and results indicated that earthworm has a low oxidative risk and SOD plays important roles during the development whereas CAT and POD are more important in maintain the low ROS level in adult earthworm. The pseudo-basal distribution of the anti-oxidant enzymes along the earthworms was heterogeneous and MDA mainly located in clitellum. POD in pre-clitellum, SOD in clitellum and CAT in post-clitellum were important to eliminate excess total ROS. Time of exposure impacted the anti-oxidant enzyme activities and their distribution patterns along earthworms, from the viewpoint of which supported that exposure time was an environment stress factors. In a short exposure time (24 h), CAT and SOD in the three regions, POD in pre-clitellum and clitellum might be good indicator to a low PHE stress level (0.0629 μg cm(-2) treatments). In a long exposure time (48 h), only SOD in clitellum is a good indicator to both low and high PHE stress (0.629 μg cm(-2) treatments). Earthworm biomembrane system inflicted no oxidative damage until the stress magnitude reached or exceeds the level of exposure in low PHE concentration condition for 48 h.


Anti-oxidant system; Earthworms; Enzyme distribution; MDA content; Phenanthrene; Pseudo-basal levels

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