Zoological Studies

Vol. 56, 2017

(update: 2017.9.12; 10.02)

Influence of Water Temperature on the MXR Activity and P-glycoprotein Expression in the Freshwater Snail, Physa acuta (Draparnaud, 1805)

Cristina N. Horak and Yanina A. Assef*

CONICET, Centro de Investigaciones Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónicas (CIEMEP), Laboratorio de Investigaciones en Ecología y Sistemática Animal (LIESA), Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, 9200 Esquel, Chubut, Argentina

(Received 4 Jaanuary 2017; Accepted 8 September 2017; Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan)

Cristina N. Horak and Yanina A. Assef (2017). P-glycoprotein (P-gp) mediated multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) is a mechanism analogous to multidrug resistance, which has been extensively characterized in mammalian tumours. The expression and function of the MXR mechanism has been demonstrated in numerous aquatic organisms and has been proposed as a biomarker for pollution assessment. A close relationship between thermal stress and MXR response has been reported in some aquatic organisms. Seasonal studies in freshwater organisms are scarce and conducted mainly in zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), whose presence has not been reported in South America. The general purpose of the present study was to evaluate seasonal variation of a biomarker, the MXR mechanism, in the worldwide distributed freshwater snail P. acuta. We analyzed the in situ influence of temperature on the biomarker response over an 18-month field study. MXR defence system was evaluated by a combination of functional assays (RB accumulation) and molecular approaches to analyse P-gp expression. The results demonstrated a linear correlation between MXR response, at activity and expression level, and water temperature at sample site, in P. acuta snails. The characterization of the MXR system in worldwide distributed species, including the study of their seasonal fluctuations, could contribute to the increasing interest to incorporate this biomarker to provide an integrated assessment of mussel health status. This work supports the possible use of P. acuta snails with this purpose and also highlights that the occurrence of variations in MXR response related to water temperature has to be taken into account in the interpretation of in situ monitoring studies.

Key words: MXR, P-glycoprotein, Biomarker, Temperature, Freshwater snail.

Correspondence: E-mail: yassef@conicet.gov.ar