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New insights into negative effects of lithium on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos
Ruocco, N.; Costantini, M.; Santella, L. (2016). New insights into negative effects of lithium on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos. NPG Scientific Reports 6(32157): 12 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep32157
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ruocco, N.
  • Costantini, M.
  • Santella, L.

Abstract
    The diffuse use of lithium in a number of industrial processes has produced a significant contamination of groundwater and surface water with it. The increased use of lithium has generated only scarce studies on its concentrations in ambient waters and on its effects on aquatic organisms. Only few contributions have focused on the toxicity of lithium in marine organisms (such as marine animals, algae and vegetables), showing that the toxic effect depends on the animal species. In the present study we describe the morphological and the molecular effects of lithium chloride (LiCl), using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus as a model organism. We show that LiCl, if added to the eggs before fertilization, induces malformations in the embryos in a dose-dependent manner. We have also followed by RT qPCR the expression levels of thirty seven genes (belonging to different classes of functional processes, such as stress, development, differentiation, skeletogenesis and detoxifications) to identify the molecular targets of LiCl. This study opens new perspectives for the understanding of the mechanism of action of lithium on marine organisms. The findings may also have relevance outside the world of marine organisms since lithium is widely prescribed for the treatment of human bipolar disorders.

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