Cd/Zn exposure interactions on metallothionein response in Eisenia fetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta).Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007 May; 145(4):658-68.CB
We studied metallothionein (MT) response in the manure worm Eisenia fetida after exposures to cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn) or cadmium and zinc spiked media. MT was studied both at the protein level by Dot Immunobinding Assay, (DIA) and at the expression level by Northern blotting. Cd was highly accumulated by worms whereas Zn body concentration was regulated. In addition, Zn would limit Cd accumulation in worms exposed to low Cd concentrations (1 and 8 mg Cd kg(-1) of dry soil). Exposure to a mixture of Cd and Zn at high concentrations increased cytosolic MT levels. This increase would allow worms to regulate body Zn concentrations and also to limit Cd toxicity. Cd exposures increased gene expression of Cd-binding MT isoform (MT 2A) whereas Zn did not. However, when both metals were at high concentrations in the exposure medium, this expression was further increased. Several hypotheses are proposed to explain the results and the best approach to estimate metal exposure of this earthworm species is given. Further experiments have now to be performed to evaluate the usefulness of these MT responses for field contaminated soils toxicity assessment using this earthworm species.