Exposure to environmental levels of 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol affects digestive glands and induces inflammation in Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea)

Sci Total Environ. 2024 Mar 10:915:170054. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170054. Epub 2024 Jan 13.


2,4-Di-tert-butylphenol (2,4-DTBP) is used as an antioxidant added to plastics. Due to its potential toxicity and relatively high concentrations in environments and presence in human tissue, concern has been raised for 2,4-DTBP as a contaminant associated with adverse health outcomes. However, studies on the toxicity of 2,4-DTBP are relatively limited, especially for benthic aquatic organisms. In this study, Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of 2,4-DTBP (0.01-1 μM, corresponding to 2.06-206.32 μg/L) for 21 days. Accumulation of 2,4-DTBP was noted in both gills and digestive glands, with the latter presenting as the primary target tissue. Increased damage rate of digestive tube and cellular DNA damage were observed in the digestive glands of 2,4-DTBP exposed clams. The injury was attributed to the imbalance of the antioxidant system, characterized by elevated oxidative stress and inflammation (upregulation of ROS, MDA, NO, and pro-inflammatory factors). In contrast, upon 2,4-DTBP exposure, antioxidant system in gills was activated, while ROS and NO were not promoted. Moreover, NF-κB and IL-1 were significantly decreased. These results suggested that biochemical mechanisms were activated in gills to maintain homeostasis. Internal exposure in the digestive gland was significantly correlated with the biochemical biomarkers tested, underscoring the potential risk associated with the bioaccumulation of 2,4-DTBP from contaminated environments. These findings provide novel insights into toxicity of 2,4-DTBP in bivalves, contributing valuable knowledge to risk assessment and chemical management.

Keywords: 2,4-DTBP; Bioaccumulation; Corbicula fluminea; Inflammation; Oxidative damage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants
  • Corbicula* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Phenols*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Antioxidants
  • 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Phenols