Peroxidation and unsaturation indices as potential biomarkers of multifarious zinc and copper micro-supplementation in Helix pomatia L

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2018 Feb;148:713-720. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.11.051. Epub 2017 Nov 22.


The work is a continuation of two previous studies in which biomarker fatty acids (12 of 56 FA pools) were analysed in Helix pomatia L. after heterogeneous micro-supplementation of Zn and Cu (administered in five micro-doses in the form of salts and EDTA and lysine chelates). This time, peroxidation (PI) and unsaturation coefficients (UI) as biomarker were analysed. These indices were calculated based on the FA profile in the foot and hepatopancreas of snails. The correlation of frequently used oxidation status indicators of organisms (catalase - CAT, glutathione peroxidase - GPx, selenium-dependent peroxidase - se-GPx, superoxide dismutase - SOD, glutathione transferase - GST, glutathione reductase - GR, glutathione - GSH, carbonyl protein - CP, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances - TBARS) with the rarely used UI and PI ratios was analysed. It was found that the 12-week micro-exposure to Zn and Cu did not inhibit but rather stimulated antioxidative defence at a sufficient level to increase the values of peroxidation/unsaturation indices in comparison to the control groups. Induction of an opposite process to oxidation of fatty acids was demonstrated. Maximum activities and amounts of antioxidants as well as minima of protein and lipid decomposition were recorded in groups supplemented with 0.75mg/l Zn and 1.0mg/l Cu. The possibility of a direct use of fatty acids as well as peroxidation/unsaturation indices as sensitive and reproducible biomarkers of exposure and oxidative physiological status in snails was confirmed.

Keywords: Biomarker; Fatty acids; Metal; Peroxidation; Snail.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Copper / metabolism
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism*
  • Helix, Snails / drug effects*
  • Helix, Snails / metabolism
  • Hepatopancreas / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Zinc / metabolism
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Copper
  • Zinc