To develop effective programs to monitor water quality is necessary to identify sensitive biomarkers in indicator species. The aim of this study was to evaluate different biomarkers in the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata exposed to the insecticide Cypermethrin (CYP). Adult male and female snails were exposed to sublethal CYP concentrations (10, 25 and 100 μg l−1) for 1, 4, 7 and 14 days. The recovery of the exposed snails was also studied by a post-exposure assay. The activities of the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), the levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and protein oxidation (PC) in digestive gland and gills were studied as biomarkers of exposure. Histopathological changes in target tissues were also evaluated. In digestive gland, CYP caused a significant increase in SOD, CAT and GST activities compared to control (p < 0.05) as well as in LPO and PC levels (p < 0.05). However, such biochemical effects were neither concentration nor time dependent. Histopatological changes were observed in the exposed groups, such as an increase in the number of basophilic cells, hemocytic infiltration and epithelia atrophy. Additionally, a positive correlation between the surface occupied by pigmented corpuscles and CYP concentrations was observed at all exposure periods. Gills showed greater sensitivity to oxidative damage than digestive gland. CYP caused an acute toxic effect in LPO levels in this respiratory organ. The gill filament of exposed snails, exhibited a reduction or loss of cilia, vacuolization of the columnar cells and an increase in haemocyte content irrespective of the concentration. High concentrations of CYP caused disruptions in the columnar muscle fibers. In general, snails did not show an improvement in their basal state during post-exposure treatment. Apparently, males and females do not have differential sensitivity to the pesticide. The results of this study suggest that histopathological changes are the most sensitive time- and dose-dependent biomarkers of toxicity induced by CYP in P. canaliculata.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)