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Rare earth elements (REEs) have been recently identified as emergent contaminants because of their numerous and increasing applications in technology. The impact of REEs on downstream ecosystems, notably aquatic organisms, is of particular concern, but has to date been largely overlooked. The purpose of this study was thus to evaluate the toxicity of lanthanide metals, lutetium (Lu) and dysprosium (Dy) in rainbow trout after 96 h of exposure. The lethal concentration (LC50) was determined and the expression of 14 genes involved in different pathways such as oxidative stress, xenobiotic detoxification, mitochondrial respiration, DNA repair, protein folding and turnover, inflammation, calcium binding and ammonia metabolism were quantified in surviving fish. In parallel, lipid peroxidation (LPO), DNA damage (DSB), metallothionein level (MT) and cyclooxygenase activity (COX) were examined. The acute 96 h-LC50 data revealed that Lu was more toxic than Dy (1.9 and 11.0 mg/L, respectively) and was able to affect all investigated pathways by changing the expression of the studied genes, to the exception of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). It also induced a decrease in DNA repair at concentrations 29 times below the LC50. This suggests that Lu could trigger a general stress to disrupt the cell homeostasis leading to genotoxicity without promoting oxidative stress. However, Dy induced modulation in the expression of genes involved in the protection against oxidative stress, detoxification, mitochondrial respiration, immunomodulation, protein turnover and an increase in the DNA strand breaks at concentrations 170 times lower than LC50. Changes in mRNA level transcripts could represent an early signal to prevent against toxicity of Dy, which exhibited inflammatory and genotoxic effects. This study thus provides useful knowledge enhancing our understanding of survival strategies developed by rainbow trout to cope with the presence of lanthanides in the environment. Crown Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Houda Hanana, Zofia E Taranu, Patrice Turcotte, Christian Gagnon, Joanna Kowalczyk, François Gagné. Evaluation of general stress, detoxification pathways, and genotoxicity in rainbow trout exposed to rare earth elements dysprosium and lutetium. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2021 Jan 15;208:111588

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PMID: 33396111

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