Pharmaceutical residues in aquatic systems: mode of action and effects on mussel physiology

Buratti, Sara (2011) Pharmaceutical residues in aquatic systems: mode of action and effects on mussel physiology, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3539.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (13MB) | Anteprima


Pharmaceutical residues contaminate aquatic ecosystems as a result of their widespread human and veterinary usage. Since continuously released and not efficiently removed, certain pharmaceuticals exhibit pseudo-persistence thus generating concerns for the health of aquatic wildlife. This work aimed at assessing on mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis, under laboratory conditions, the effects of three pharmaceuticals, carbamazepine (antiepileptic), propranolol (β-blocker) and oxytetracycline (antibiotic), to evaluate if the human-based mode of action of these molecules is conserved in invertebrates. Furthermore, in the framework of the European MEECE Programme, mussels were exposed to oxytetracycline and copper at increasing temperatures, simulating variations due to climate changes. The effects of these compounds were assessed evaluating a battery of biomarkers, the expression of HSP70 proteins and changes in cAMP-related parameters. A decrease in lysosomal membrane stability, induction of oxidative stress, alterations of cAMP-dependent pathway and the induction of defense mechanisms were observed indicating the development of a stress syndrome, and a worsening in mussels health status. Data obtained in MEECE Programme confirmed that the toxicity of substances can be enhanced following changes in temperature. The alterations observed were obtained after exposure to pharmaceuticals at concentrations sometimes lower than those detected in the aquatic environment. Hence, further research is advisable regarding subtle effects of pharmaceuticals on non-target organisms. Furthermore, results obtained during a research stay in the laboratories of Cádiz University (Spain) are presented. The project aimed at measuring possible effects of polluted sediments in Algeciras Bay (Spain) and in Cádiz Bay, by assessing different physiological parameters in caged crabs Carcinus maenas and clams Ruditapes decussatus exposed in situ for 28 days. The neutral red retention assay was adapted to these species and proved to be a sensitive screening tool for the assessment of sediment quality.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Buratti, Sara
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
pharmaceuticals carbamazepine propranolol oxytetracycline mussels biomarkers cAMP HSP70 NRRA crabs clams dredged sediment
Data di discussione
9 Maggio 2011

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi