Histological, biochemical and immunohistochemical assessments of Roundup®, atrazine, and 2,4-D mixtures on tissue architecture, body fluid conditions, nitrotyrosine protein and Na+/K+-ATPase expressions in the American oyster, Crassostera virginica

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2024 Jun 4:283:109951. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2024.109951. Online ahead of print.


Pesticides are widely used to control weeds and pests in agricultural settings but harm non-target aquatic organisms. In this study, our objective was to evaluate the effect of short-term exposure (one week) to environmentally relevant concentrations of pesticides mixture (low concentration: 0.4 μg/l atrazine, 0.5 μg/l Roundup®, and 0.5 μg/l 2,4-D; high concentration: 0.8 μg/l atrazine, 1 μg/l Roundup®, and 1 μg/l 2,4-D) on tissue architecture, body fluid conditions, and 3-nitrotyrosine protein (NTP) and Na+/K+-ATPase, expressions in tissues of American oyster (Crassostrea virginica) under controlled laboratory conditions. Histological analysis demonstrated the atrophy in the gills and digestive glands of oysters exposed to pesticides mixture. Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining showed the number of hemocytes in connective tissue increased in low- and high-concentration pesticides exposure groups. However, pesticides treatment significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the amount of mucous secretion in the gills and digestive glands of oysters. The extrapallial fluid (i.e., body fluid) protein concentrations and glucose levels were dropped significantly (P < 0.05) in oysters exposed to high-concentration pesticides exposure groups. Moreover, immunohistochemical analysis showed significant upregulations of NTP and Na+/K+-ATPase expressions in the gills and digestive glands in pesticides exposure groups. Our results suggest that exposure to environmentally relevant pesticides mixture causes morphological changes in tissues and alters body fluid conditions and NTP and Na+/K+-ATPase expressions in tissues, which may lead to impaired physiological functions in oysters.

Keywords: Aquatic environment; Marine bivalves; Nitrative stress; Osmoregulation; Pesticides.