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Time-Dependent Effects in Algae for Chemicals with Different Adverse Outcome Pathways: A Novel Approach

Vogs, Carolina; Altenburger, Rolf


Chemicals affect unicellular algae as a result of toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic processes. The internal concentration of chemicals in algae cells typically reaches equilibrium within minutes, while damage cumulatively increases over hours. The time gap between the steady state of internal exposure and damage development is thus suspected to span up to hours, mainly due to toxicodynamic processes. The quantification of rate-limited toxicodynamic processes, aggregated as a progressive effect from an initiating molecular event through biological key events toward the adverse outcome on algae growth inhibition, might discriminate between different adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). To support our hypothesis, we selected six chemicals according to different physicochemical properties and three distinctly dissimilar AOPs. The time courses of internal concentrations were linked to the observed affected growth using toxicokinetic toxicodynamic modeling. Effects on cell growth were explained by effect progression and not by the time to reach internal equilibrium concentration. Effect progression rates ranged over 6 orders of magnitude for all chemicals but varied by less than 1 order of magnitude within similar AOP (photosystem II inhibitors > reactive chemicals > lipid biosynthesis inhibitors), meaning that inhibitors of photosystem II advance an effect toward algae growth fastest compared to reactive chemicals and inhibitors of lipid biosynthesis.

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Environmental Science and Technology
2016, Volym: 50, nummer: 14, sidor: 7770-7780

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