Atmospheric pollution from vehicular traffic is a matter of growing interest, often leading to temporary restrictions in urban areas. Although guidelines indicate limits for several parameters, the real toxicologic impacts remain largely unexplored in field conditions. In this study our aim was to validate an ecotoxicologic approach to evaluate both bioaccumulation and toxicologic effects caused by airborne pollutants. Specimens of the land snail Helix aspersa were caged in five sites in the urban area of Ancona, Italy. After 4 weeks, trace metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured and these data integrated with the analyses of molecular and biochemical responses. Such biomarkers reflected the induction of detoxification pathways or the onset of cellular toxicity caused by pollutants. Biomarkers that correlated with contaminant accumulation included levels of metallothioneins, activity of biotransformation enzymes (ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase), and peroxisomal proliferation. More general responses were investigated as oxidative stress variations, including efficiency of antioxidant defenses (catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferases, glutathione peroxidases, and total glutathione) and total oxyradical scavenging capacity toward peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals, onset of cellular damages (i.e., lysosomal destabilization), and loss of DNA integrity. Results revealed a marked accumulation of metals and PAHs in digestive tissues of organisms maintained in more traffic-congested sites. The contemporary appearance of several alterations confirmed the cellular reactivity of these chemicals with toxicologic effects of potential concern for human health. The overall results of this exploratory study suggest the utility of H. aspersa as a sentinel organism for biomonitoring the biologic impact of atmospheric pollution in urban areas.

Use of the land snail Helix aspersa as sentinel organism for monitoring ecotoxicological effects of urban pollution: an integrated approach.

REGOLI, Francesco;GORBI, STEFANIA;FATTORINI, DANIELE;BENEDETTI, MAURA;PIVA, Francesco
2006-01-01

Abstract

Atmospheric pollution from vehicular traffic is a matter of growing interest, often leading to temporary restrictions in urban areas. Although guidelines indicate limits for several parameters, the real toxicologic impacts remain largely unexplored in field conditions. In this study our aim was to validate an ecotoxicologic approach to evaluate both bioaccumulation and toxicologic effects caused by airborne pollutants. Specimens of the land snail Helix aspersa were caged in five sites in the urban area of Ancona, Italy. After 4 weeks, trace metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead, and zinc) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured and these data integrated with the analyses of molecular and biochemical responses. Such biomarkers reflected the induction of detoxification pathways or the onset of cellular toxicity caused by pollutants. Biomarkers that correlated with contaminant accumulation included levels of metallothioneins, activity of biotransformation enzymes (ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase), and peroxisomal proliferation. More general responses were investigated as oxidative stress variations, including efficiency of antioxidant defenses (catalase, glutathione reductase, glutathione S-transferases, glutathione peroxidases, and total glutathione) and total oxyradical scavenging capacity toward peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals, onset of cellular damages (i.e., lysosomal destabilization), and loss of DNA integrity. Results revealed a marked accumulation of metals and PAHs in digestive tissues of organisms maintained in more traffic-congested sites. The contemporary appearance of several alterations confirmed the cellular reactivity of these chemicals with toxicologic effects of potential concern for human health. The overall results of this exploratory study suggest the utility of H. aspersa as a sentinel organism for biomonitoring the biologic impact of atmospheric pollution in urban areas.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/36669
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