Antioxidant responses after microcystin exposure in gills of an estuarine crab species pre-treated with vitamin E
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Microcystins are hepatotoxins suspected to generate oxidative stress. This mechanism was evaluated in gills of the estuarine crab Chasmagnathus granulatus (Decapoda, Brachyura). Adult male crabs were fed ground beef with or without vitamin E (600 mg/kg). Microcystin (1.21 microg/kg) was daily administered through forced ingestion, for 7 days. After exposure, catalase activity was reduced in posterior gills of crabs supplemented with vitamin E. A lower increment in glutathione S-transferase activity (GST) was observed in organisms pretreated with vitamin E and then exposed to microcystin with respect to those exposed to the toxin but not pretreated with the vitamin. Pretreatment with vitamin E also increased nonproteic sulfhyrdil groups and this effect was not observed after microcystin exposure. The fact that supplementation with antioxidants such as vitamin E modulates GST activity indicates the direct or indirect involvement of microcystin in oxidative stress generation.
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