Effect of microcystin on ion regulation and antioxidant system in gills of the estuarine crab Chasmagnathus granulatus (Decapoda, Grapsidae) Academic Article uri icon

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  • The objective of this work was to evaluate mechanisms of microcystin toxicity on crustacean species. Adult male crabs of Chasmagnathus granulatus (13.97+/-0.35 g) acclimated to low salinity (2 per thousand ) were injected with saline (control) or Microcystis aeruginosa aqueous extract (39.2 microg/l) at 24 h intervals for 48 h. After the exposure period, the anterior and posterior gills were dissected, measuring Na(+),K(+)-ATPase and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity. Total oxyradical scavenging capacity (TOSC) and lipid peroxides (LPO) content were also determined. Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity in anterior gills was significantly lower in crabs injected with toxin than in control crabs, while no significant difference in the enzyme activity was detected in posterior gills. Both sodium and chloride concentration in the hemolymph were not affected by toxin exposure. Significant changes in GST activity were detected in posterior gills, with higher values being observed in the toxin-injected crabs. Crabs exposed to microcystin also showed a significant increase in the TOSC value against peroxyl radicals, for both anterior and posterior gills. Lipid peroxides level did not change in both gill types after exposure to the toxin. The increased levels of TOSC suggest the occurrence of a crab response against oxidative stress induced by toxin injection, which prevents lipid peroxidation.


  • Vinagre, TM
  • Alciati, JC
  • Regoli, F
  • Bocchetti, R
  • Yunes, JS
  • Bianchini, Adalto
  • Monserrat, JM

publication date

  • May 2003