Understanding dose-responses is crucial for determining the utility of biomarkers in ecotoxicity assessment. Nitrofurazone is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is widely used in the aquaculture industry in China despite its detrimental effects on ecosystems. Potential dose-response models were examined for the effect of nitrofurazone on two antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), in the ciliated protozoan Euplotes vannus. This was achieved by measuring enzyme activity and gene expression profiling of SOD and GPx in ciliate cells exposed to nitrofurazone at doses ranging from 0 to 180mgl−1 for 6h, 12h, 18h and 24h. Dose-response dynamics were characterized by mathematical models. Results showed that: 1) dose-response patterns differed significantly among the tested endpoints, nitrofurazone concentrations and durations of exposure; 2) GPx activity was the best candidate biomarker because of its linear dose-response relationship; 3) SOD activity and mRNA relative expression levels of GPx and SOD are also candidate biomarkers but their dose-responses were non-linear and therefore more difficult to interpret; 4) partitioning the dose-response dynamic model by piecewise function can help to clarify the relationships between biological endpoints. This study demonstrates the utility of dynamic model analysis and the potential of antioxidant enzymes, in particular GPx activity, as a candidate biomarkers for environmental monitoring and risk assessment of nitrofurazone in the aquaculture industry.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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