Histological and morphological alterations induced by copper exposure in Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae)
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Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae) was collected in an unpolluted (UP) and an polluted (P) site at the Patos Lagoon estuary (Southern Brazil) and maintained under control conditions (UPC and PC, respectively) or exposed to waterborne copper (UPCu and PCu; 500 microg Cu/l), for 48 h. Four groups (aaUPC, aaPC, aaUPCu, and aaPCu) were also pre-exposed for 48 h to ascorbic acid (aa; 0.1 mM) before copper exposure. Histological and morphological alterations, as well as oxygen consumption changes were evaluated. Independently of the sampling site and the pre-exposure to the ascorbic acid, morphological abnormalities were evident in more than 80% of worms exposed to copper. Conspicuous histological changes (coeloma obliteration, cuticle separation from the epidermis, and absence of dorsal vessel) were also observed. In addition, PCu worms showed loss of the digestive epithelium and coiling behavior. Similar oxygen consumption values were observed in control and copper exposed worms.
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