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Microplastics Exposure Causes Negligible Effects on the Oxidative Response Enzymes Glutathione Reductase and Peroxidase in the Oligochaete Tubifex tubifex

1
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, Niemenkatu 73, Lahti FI-15140, Finland
2
Korea Institute of Science & Technology (KIST Europe) Environmental Safety Group. Joint Laboratory of Applied Ecotoxicology Campus E 7.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
3
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability (HELSUS), Fabianinkatu 33, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
4
Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Florence, Italy
5
Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”, University of Florence, and Consorzio Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo dei Sistemi a Grande Interfase (CSGI), Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Florence, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2020, 8(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8010014
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 12 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevalence, Fate and Effects of Plastic in Freshwater Environments)
Microplastics (MPs) are emerging pollutants, which are considered ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems. The effects of MPs on aquatic biota are still poorly understood, and consequently, there is a need to understand the impacts that MPs may pose to organisms. In the present study, Tubifex tubifex, a freshwater oligochaete commonly used as a bioindicator of the aquatic environment, was exposed to fluorescent polyethylene microspheres (up to 10 µm in size) to test whether the oxidative stress status was affected. The mortality rate of T. tubifex, as well as the activities of the oxidative stress status biomarker enzymes glutathione reductase and peroxidase, were assessed. In terms of oxidative stress, no significant differences between the exposure organisms and the corresponding controls were detected. Even though the data suggest that polyethylene MPs and the selected concentrations did not pose a critical risk to T. tubifex, the previously reported tolerance of T. tubifex to environmental pollution should be taken into account and thus MPs as aquatic pollutants could still represent a threat to more sensitive oligochetes. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastic; polyethylene; Tubifex tubifex; aquatic oligochetes; mortality; oxidative stress; glutathione reductase; peroxidase; microplastic exposure; freshwater environments microplastic; polyethylene; Tubifex tubifex; aquatic oligochetes; mortality; oxidative stress; glutathione reductase; peroxidase; microplastic exposure; freshwater environments
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Scopetani, C.; Esterhuizen, M.; Cincinelli, A.; Pflugmacher, S. Microplastics Exposure Causes Negligible Effects on the Oxidative Response Enzymes Glutathione Reductase and Peroxidase in the Oligochaete Tubifex tubifex. Toxics 2020, 8, 14.

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