Effects of Human Activity on Markers of Oxidative Stress in the Intestine of Holothuria tubulosa, with Special Reference to the Presence of Microplastics

Lombardo, Jessica; Solomando, Antonia; Cohen-Sanchez, Amanda; Pinya, Samuel; Tejada, Silvia; Ferriol, Pere; Mateu-Vicens, Guillem; Box, Antonio; Faggio, Caterina; Sureda, Antoni


Pollution in the seas and oceans is a global problem, which highlights emerging pollutants and plastics, specifically microplastics (MPs), which are tiny (1 mu m to 5 mm) ubiquitous plastic particles present in marine environments that can be ingested by a wide range of organisms. Holothurians are benthic organisms that feed on sediment; therefore, they can be exposed to contaminants present in the particles they ingest. The objective was to evaluate the effects of human activity on Holothuria tubulosa through the study of biomarkers. Specimens were collected in three different areas throughout the island of Eivissa, Spain: (1) a highly urbanized area, with tourist uses and a marina; (2) an urbanized area close to the mouth of a torrent; (3) an area devoid of human activity and considered clean. The results showed a higher presence of microplastics (MPs) in the sediments from the highly urbanized area in relation to the other two areas studied. Similarly, a higher number of MPs were observed in the digestive tract of H. tubulosa from the most affected area, decreasing with the degree of anthropic influence. Both in the sediment and in the holothurians, fibers predominated with more than 75% of the items. In the three areas, mesoplastics were analyzed by means of FTIR, showing that the main polymer was polypropylene (27%) followed by low-density polyethylene (17%) and polystyrene (16%). Regarding the biomarkers of oxidative stress, the intestine of H. tubulosa from the most impacted areas showed higher catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GRd), and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels compared to the control area. The intermediate area only presented significant differences in GRd and GST with respect to the clean area. The activities of acetylcholinesterase and the levels and malondialdehyde presented similar values in all areas. In conclusion, human activity evaluated with the presence of MPs induced an antioxidant response in H. tubulosa, although without evidence of oxidative damage or neurotoxicity. H. tubulosa, due to its benthic animal characteristics and easy handling, can be a useful species for monitoring purposes.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000845627500001 Not found in local WOS DB
Volumen: 23
Número: 16
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2022


Notas: ISI