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Environ Pollut. 2018 Aug;239:428-437. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.027. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

NMR-based metabolic toxicity of low-level Hg exposure to earthworms.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, People's Republic of China; University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, People's Republic of China.
2
Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, People's Republic of China.
3
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, People's Republic of China.
4
Center for Molecular Metabolism, School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210014, People's Republic of China.
5
Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: xxwang@issas.ac.cn.

Abstract

Mercury is a globally distributed toxicant to aquatic animals and mammals. However, the potential risks of environmental relevant mercury in terrestrial systems remain largely unclear. The metabolic profiles of the earthworm Eisenia fetida after exposure to soil contaminated with mercury at 0.77 ± 0.09 mg/kg for 2 weeks were investigated using a two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance-based (1H-13C NMR) metabolomics approach. The results revealed that traditional endpoints (e.g., mortality and weight loss) did not differ significantly after exposure. Although histological examination showed sub-lethal toxicity in the intestine as a result of soil ingestion, the underlying mechanisms were unclear. Metabolite profiles revealed significant decreases in glutamine and 2-hexyl-5-ethyl-3-furansulfonate in the exposed group and remarkable increases in glycine, alanine, glutamate, scyllo-inositol, t-methylhistidine and myo-inositol. More importantly, metabolic network analysis revealed that low mercury in the soil disrupted osmoregulation, amino acid and energy metabolisms in earthworms. A metabolic net link and schematic diagram of mercury-induced responses were proposed to predict earthworm responses after exposure to mercury at environmental relevant concentrations. These results improved the current understanding of the potential toxicity of low mercury in terrestrial systems.

KEYWORDS:

(1)H-(13)C NMR; Eisenia fetida; Histopathological examination; Metabolic net analysis; Methylmercury

PMID:
29679940
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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