Ecotoxicological assessment of perchlorate using in vitro and in vivo assays

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 May;25(14):13697-13708. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-1565-6. Epub 2018 Mar 4.


Perchlorate is an inorganic ion widespread in the environment, generated as a natural and anthropogenic pollutant, with known endocrine disruption properties in the thyroid gland. Nonetheless, there are few reports of its ecotoxicological impact on wildlife. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adverse effects of KClO4 exposure on different cell lines, HEK, N2a, and 3T3, as well as in ecological models such as Vibrio fischeri, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Eisenia fetida. Perchlorate exhibited similar toxicity against tested cell lines, with LC50 values of 19, 15, and 19 mM for HEK, N2a, and 3T3, respectively; whereas in V. fischeri, the toxicity, examined as bioluminescence reduction, was considerably lower (EC50 = 715 mM). The survival of the freshwater algae P. subcapitata was significatively impaired by perchlorate (LC50 = 72 mM), and its effect on the lethality in the crustacean D. magna was prominent (LC50 = 5 mM). For the earthworm E. fetida, the LC50 was 56 mM in soil. In this organism, perchlorate induced avoidance behavior, weight loss, and decreased egg production and hatchling, as well as morphological and histopathological effects, such as malformations, dwarfism, and necrosis. In conclusion, perchlorate toxicity varies according to the species, although E. fetida is a sensitive model to generate information regarding the toxicological impact of KClO4 on biota.

Keywords: Biological models; Biota; Ecotoxicology; Effects; Endocrine disruption; Toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Ecotoxicology*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Oligochaeta / drug effects*
  • Perchlorates / toxicity*
  • Species Specificity


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Perchlorates
  • perchlorate