Approved Abstracts

Energy status and neuroendocrine effects of environmental concentration of cocaine in brown mussel (Perna perna)



Author(s): Fontes, M.K.; Dourado, P.L.R.; Campos, B.G.; Maranho, L.A.; Almeida, E.A.; Pereira, C.D.S;
Presenter: Camilo Dias Seabra Pereira

The occurrence of illicit drugs in the aquatic environment has raised concerns about negative effects on aquati biota, due to their pharmacological activity. These substances are continuously discharged into wastewater which have been detected in the aquatic environment in concentrations ranging from ng.L−1 to μg.L−1 and are continually released into the environment via wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), recognized as the main source of surface water contamination as a result of inefficient removal and treatment of effluents. Cocaine (COC) is the third most used drug in North America, Western and Central Europe and second in Latin America and Caribbean. Data on the effects of COC at environmental concentrations in marine invertebrates such as bivalves are scarce, especially considering effects on the nervous system. Then, the aim of this study was to investigate the sublethal responses of the marine brown mussel Perna perna after exposed to environmental concentrations of COC. Mussels were exposed to COC (0.2 µg.L-1and 2 µg.L-1) for 48, 96 and 168 h. Neurotoxicity (Acetylcholinesterase- AChE) was evaluated in adductor muscle tissue. Neurotransmitter levels (DOPA and 5- HT), the activities of monoamine oxidase (MAO) and cyclooxygenase (COX) and energy status (mitrochondrial electron transport, MET, and total lipids, TLP), were evaluated in gonads from mussels. COC decreased the AChE activity in mussels exposed to 0.2 µg.L-1 and 2 µg.L-1 after 168h. All concentrations of COC increase of neurotransmitter levels. An increase of MET (0.2 µg.L-1 in all times of exposure) and TLP (0.2 µg.L-1 after 48h and 2 µg.L-1 after 96h and 168h) were also observed. No significant change was detected in MAO activity. COC also decreased the COX activity in mussels exposed to 0.2 µg.L-1 (48h and 96h) and 2 µg.L-1 (96h). These results suggest that COC may compromise the gonadal maturation of the mussels as well as the spawning process, since these events are influenced by adequate neurotransmitter balance and COX activity. Furthermore, the changes in MET and LPT suggest that COC affects the energy balance of the mussels, with potential to damage physiological process such as metabolism, hormone production and embryonic development. To the best of our awareness, is the first time that the neurotoxicological and endocrine effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of cocaine have been analyzed in marine mussels. Financial support: FAPESP- Săo Paulo Research Foundation (Process #2016/24033-3; #2015/17329-0); CNPq -National Council for Scientific and Technological Development- (Processes #409187/2016-0 and #309361/2019-2).

Keywords: illicit drugs; bivalves; marine pollution

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