The Effects of Chlorpyrifos and Lead on the Antioxidant Enzyme System of the Aquatic Snail Helisoma duryi

The Effects of Chlorpyrifos and Lead on the Antioxidant Enzyme System of the Aquatic Snail Helisoma duryi

Chemical contaminants resulting from anthropogenic activities such as farming, manufacturing and mining processes remain the ultimate drain of aquatic reservoirs. During the different processes carried out by man, chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals and polycyclic hydrocarbons are produced and these chemicals find their way through runoff, leaching and aerial drifts to aquatic bodies. The harmful effects of these water contaminants are certainly at risk for freshwater biota and, therefore, there is a need to control the effects of these chemical pollutants in order to safeguard the health of aquatic life. In order to determine the potential of using this enzyme mechanism as a biondictor of exposure to environmental contaminants, we investigated the oxidative stress effects of chlorpyrifos and lead on the freshwater snail Helisoma duryi. Snail classes were exposed to 5 ppb of lead acetate and 25 ppb of chlorpyrifos for 7 days, in which half of the snails were slaughtered and half of the snails recovered in clean water and were slaughtered for another 7 days. To test the activities of the following antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, and diphosphotriphosphodiaphorase, post mitochondrial fractions were used. Both contaminants increased the activities of all antioxidant enzymes, suggesting the snail’s defense mechanism to fight oxidative stress due to the chlopryrifos organophosphate and metal pollutant lead. The substantial recovery of the snails’ antioxidant protection mechanism permitted to recover in clean water has been demonstrated by a decreased alteration of the snails’ antioxidant enzyme activities permitted to recover for 7 days. This supports the need to mitigate the exposure of marine biota to chemical contaminants and to restore contaminated water bodies if they are polluted, in order to safeguard the health of aquatic organisms.

Author (s) Details

Norah Basopo
Department of Applied Biology and Biochemistry, National University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Thamsanqa Ngabaza
Department of Applied Biology and Biochemistry, National University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

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