Cadmium is a known metal contaminant in the Bohai Sea. In this study, the dose-dependent responses induced by Cd were characterized in marine polychaete Perinereis aibuhitensis using the endpoints, including activities of enzymes, expression levels of stress-responsive genes and metabolic responses. Both enzyme activities and gene expression levels exhibited the hormetic effects induced by Cd in P. aibuhitensis, as shown by the typical U-shaped or inverted U-shaped response profiles. The highest concentration (1280 µg/L) of Cd exposure induced obvious oxidative stresses. NMR-based metabolomics revealed that Cd induced both linear dose-dependent effects (69.13% of the total variation) and a relatively slight hormesis (5.54% of the total variation) in energy metabolism in P. aibuhitensis at metabolite level. In details, Cd exposures linearly reduced the consumption of amino acids and enhanced the consumption of glucose for energy supply, resulting in elevated contents of amino acids and depleted contents of glucose. Additionally, Cd treatments induced hormesis in the conversion of ATP hydrolysis to AMP. This work suggested that the hormetic effects should be considered in the ecological risk assessment for the environmental pollutants.
Keywords: Cadmium; Dose-dependent; Hormesis; Perinereis aibuhitensis; Toxicological effects.
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