Combined exposure of Japanese quails to cyanotoxins, Newcastle virus and lead: oxidative stress responses.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2011 Oct; 74(7):2082-90.EE
Wild birds are continually exposed to many anthropogenic and natural stressors in their habitats. Over the last decades, mass mortalities of wild birds constitute a serious problem and may possibly have more causations such as natural toxins including cyanotoxins, parasitic diseases, industrial chemicals and other anthropogenic contaminants. This study brings new knowledge on the effects of controlled exposure to multiple stressors in birds. The aim was to test the hypothesis that influence of cyanobacterial biomass, lead and antigenic load may combine to enhance the effects on birds, including modulation of antioxidative and detoxification responses. Eight treatment groups of model species Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were exposed to various combinations of these stressors. The parameters of detoxification and oxidative stress were studied in liver and heart after 30 days of exposure. The antioxidative enzymatic defense in birds seems to be activated quite efficiently, which was documented by the elevated levels and activities of antioxidative and detoxification compounds and by the low incidence of damage to lipid membranes. The greatest modulations of glutathione level and activities of glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and lipid peroxidation were shown mostly in the groups with combined multiple exposures. The results indicate that the antioxidative system plays an important role in the protective response of the tissues to applied stressors and that its greater induction helps to protect the birds from more serious damage. Most significant changes of these "defense" parameters in case of multiple stressors suggest activation of this universal mechanism in situation with complex exposure and its crucial role in protection of the bird health in the environment.