Scientia Marina, Vol 77, No S1 (2013)

Interspecific variability of endocrine disruption and oxidative stress in two bivalve species from the Ria Formosa Lagoon (south coast of Portugal)

Catarina Pereira
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Tânia Gomes
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Cátia Cardoso
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Ana Catarina Almeida
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Olinda Araújo
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Maria João Bebianno
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal

Alexandra Cravo
CIMA, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve , Portugal


Estuaries are highly productive ecosystems that have been increasingly affected by anthropogenic activities. In this study, the presence of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and their relation to oxidative stress were assessed in two bivalve species (mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis and clams Ruditapes decussatus) from the Ria Formosa Lagoon (south Portugal). We applied the alkali-labile phosphate (ALP) assay to determine vitellogenin-like protein levels, and the lipid peroxidation (LPO) method to assess oxidative damage. Mussels and clams exhibited the same pattern of ALP concentrations, with no differences between genders and higher levels in winter. R. decussatus showed higher ALP values than M. galloprovincialis, possibly associated with a stronger responsiveness of clams to EDCs or due to the influence of the reproductive cycle. Mussels exhibited a more evident seasonal effect for LPO, indicating that these organisms are more influenced by seasonal fluctuations in the water column compared to the sediment-associated clams. Both species appear to be under the influence of EDC exposure (which could induce Vg-like protein synthesis) and oxidative stressors (leading to lipid peroxidation) in the Ria Formosa Lagoon, particularly in winter, reflecting the presence of different contaminants in Ria Formosa and environmental changes, as well as complex interactions between them.


Ria Formosa Lagoon; Mytilus galloprovincialis; Ruditapes decussatus; endocrine disruption; vitellogenin-like proteins; lipid peroxidation

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