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Nereis virens (Annelida: Polychaeta) is not an adequate sentinel species to assess the genotoxic risk (comet assay) of PAH exposure to the environment
De Boeck, M.; Kirsch-Volders, M. (1997). Nereis virens (Annelida: Polychaeta) is not an adequate sentinel species to assess the genotoxic risk (comet assay) of PAH exposure to the environment. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 30(1): 82-90.<82::AID-EM11>3.0.CO;2-M
In: Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. Liss: New York, N.Y.. ISSN 0893-6692, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 238051 [ OMA ]

    Benzopyrene; Nereis virens Sars, 1835 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    comet assay; coelomocytes; DNA damage; benzo[a]pyrene; Nereis virens; bioindicator

Authors  Top 
  • De Boeck, M.
  • Kirsch-Volders, M.

    Polychaetes, because of their bioturbation capacity, play an important role in the distribution of anthropogenic contaminants (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]) throughout the sediments. In this work the use of Nereis virens (Annelida: Polychaeta) as a bioindicator to assess the genotoxic risk of PAH exposure for the environment was evaluated. For this purpose the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis [comet] assay was applied on the coelomocytes of in vivo exposed Nereis virens. Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) was chosen because it is classified by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) as "probably carcinogenic to humans" and because its mechanisms of action are well-known. Nereis virens was exposed to B[a]P in concentrations of 0.3, 0.6, 10, 20, 35 and 45 mg/ml by an intracoelomic injection of B[a]P (20 microliters) dissolved in dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO). A solvent control with DMSO, a positive control with ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) (12.1 mg/ml) and a negative control were included in each experiment. For each treatment four animals were analysed. After 1 hr treatment coelomocytes were harvested by puncturing the coelomic cavity with a sharpened Pasteur pipette, mixed with 0.5% low melting point agarose and sandwiched between two other gel layers. Ethidium bromide stained nuclei were analysed for tail length and tail moment. 12.1 mg/ml EMS, pure DMSO (98.9%) and B[a]P in all tested concentrations induced a statistically significant increase of DNA single strand breaks in the comet assay. The effect of B[a]P, however, was only at the highest concentration (45 mg/ml) significantly stronger than the effect of DMSO alone. Although a relatively large heterogeneity in the results could be observed, these experiments clearly showed that Nereis virens is not suited as a sentinel species for the assessment of the genotoxic risk of PAH exposure because this species seems to be very resistant to benzo[a]pyrene.

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