Effects of microcystin and complex cyanobacterial samples on the growth and oxidative stress parameters in green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and comparison with the model oxidative stressor--herbicide paraquat.Environ Toxicol. 2011 Nov; 26(6):641-8.ET
Oxidative stress is one of the biochemical mechanisms involved in toxicity of cyanobacterial toxins microcystins (MC), but its role in the effects of complex water blooms is elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of pure MCs and different complex mixtures of cyanobacterial metabolites on the growth and biochemical markers of oxidative stress and detoxification in green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. Pure MCs at high concentrations (300 μg/L) had no effects on the growth of P. subcapitata (up to 10 day exposures) but stimulated activity of glutathione reductase (GR) after short 3 and 24 h exposures. Other biomarkers (levels of glutathione, GSH, and activities of glutathione-S-transferase, GST, and glutathione peroxidase, GPx) were not affected by pure MCs). Crude extract of the laboratory culture of cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa (containing 300 μg/L of MCs) had no effects on algal growth or any of the biomarkers. Weak growth stimulations after 4-7 days were observed after exposures to the growth-spent medium of the M. aeruginosa culture, which also inhibited activities of GST after prolonged exposures. Other investigated parameters (reduced GSH and activity of GPx) were not affected by any of the cyanobacterial samples. The results were compared with effects of model oxidative stressor herbicide paraquat, which exhibited variable effects on both algal growth and biomarkers (decrease in reduced GSH, stimulations of GR). Taken together, although pure MCs induce oxidative stress in green alga, the effects of cyanobacterial mixtures, which are more relevant to the natural situation, are more complex and they differ from the pure toxin. High variability in the biochemical responses to the oxidative stress makes the interpretation of results complicated, which limits the use of these biomarkers as early warnings of toxicity under natural conditions.