Due to their longevity and extensive migration areas, marine turtles are able to accumulate diverse contaminants over many years and as a consequence they represent an interesting bioindicator species for marine ecosystem pollution. Metals provoke toxicological effects in many aquatic animal species, but marine turtles have been under-investigated in this area. Thus, we have determined the presence of certain inorganic elements (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) in olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and related them to metallothionein (MT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) transcription and/or enzymatic activities. Gene expression of sod, cat and gr was found to be higher in blood than liver or kidney but most of the significant relationships were found in liver, not only for gene expression but also for enzyme activities. This must be related to the role the liver has as the first filter organ. Several positive relationships of sod, cat and gr gene expression in the different tissues were found in this population, as well as very high Cd concentrations. This could mean that these turtles are adapting to the metals-production of ROS and damage through a high transcription of these antioxidants. Multiple positive relationships with GR seem to be part of its compensatory effect due to the decrease of SOD production against the high and chronic exposure to certain xenobiotics. CAT, on the other hand, seems not to be used much, and glutathione detoxification of H2O2 may be more important in this species. Finally, despite the very high Cd concentrations found in this population, no significant relationship was found in any tissue with metallothionein gene expression. These results, along with very high Cd concentrations and a negative relationship with Cu, lead us to consider some kind of disruption in mt gene expression in these turtles.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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