Single and combined effects of microplastics and cadmium on the cadmium accumulation, antioxidant defence and innate immunity of the discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus).

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Summary of "Single and combined effects of microplastics and cadmium on the cadmium accumulation, antioxidant defence and innate immunity of the discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus)."

Microplastics (MPs) have the potential to interact with the toxicity of other common environmental contaminants, such as heavy metals. Here, we investigated the impacts of polystyrene-MPs (32-40 μm), cadmium (Cd) and their combination on early juveniles of the discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) in relation to Cd accumulation, antioxidant defence and innate immunity. Animals were exposed to three concentrations of MPs (0, 50 or 500 μg L) crossed with two levels of Cd (0 or 50 μg L) for 30 days. Our findings showed that MPs and Cd had no adverse effects on growth and survival. Under exposure to Cd, however, accumulation of Cd in the body of fish decreased with increasing MP concentrations as supported by a reduced metallothionein content. The activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase increased with MPs but decreased with Cd. MPs, Cd or the mixture increased catalase activity, despite an antagonistic interaction between the two stressors. Glutathione levels increased when exposed to high MP concentrations but decreased when co-exposed to Cd. Malondialdehyde content was only influenced by MPs and increased with elevated MPs. MPs or Cd alone did not increase protein carboxyl content but showed a synergistic effect and increased content. MPs or Cd alone showed no effect on lysozyme activity but had a synergistic effect and activated activity. Activities of both acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase were enhanced by MPs, Cd or their mixture, although there was an antagonistic interaction between the two stressors. In contrast, MPs, Cd or their mixture decreased complement 3 content, despite an antagonistic interaction between the two stressors. Collectively, this study suggests that exposure to Cd led to reduced Cd accumulation in the presence of MPs. Nevertheless, co-exposure could induce severe oxidative stress and stimulate innate immunity in the juvenile S. aequifasciatus.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
ISSN: 1873-6424
Pages: 462-471


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