Interaction between nickel and cobalt toxicity in Enchytraeus crypticus is due to competitive uptake.Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015 Feb; 34(2):328-37.ET
Uptake and toxicity of Ni-Co mixtures in Enchytraeus crypticus were determined after 4 d, 7 d, 10 d, and 14 d exposure. Generally, body concentrations of Ni and Co increased with increasing exposure concentrations. Ni body concentration was significantly reduced in the presence of Co, whereas Ni only marginally affected Co uptake. When expressed as free ion activities, individual toxicity of Ni and Co increased with time, with median lethal concentrations (LC50) decreasing from 78.3 μM and 511 μM at 4 d to 40.4 μM and 393 μM at 14 d, respectively. When expressed as body concentrations, LC50BodyNi remained constant with time whereas LC50BodyCo increased during the first 7 d but remained stable afterwards. As identified by the MIXTOX model, interactions between Ni and Co were mainly antagonistic when based on free ion activities, however, no interaction was observed when based on body concentrations. A process-based model, incorporating exposure time to analyze the mechanisms underlying the dynamic mixture toxicity confirmed the differences in toxicokinetics of the 2 metals. The author's findings suggest that body concentrations, which incorporate bioaccumulation processes, are time-independent and can act as a more constant indicator of metal toxicity. The observed antagonism was mainly caused by competition between Co and Ni for binding sites and subsequent inhibition of Ni uptake. This competitive interaction occurred at the uptake level (toxicokinetics), but not at the target level (toxicodynamics).