Environmental health and toxicology

Toxicological effects involved in risk assessment of rare earth lanthanum on roots of Vicia faba L. seedlings

Chengrun Wang , Mei He , Wen Shi , Jessie Wong , Tao Cheng , Xiaorong Wang , Lingling Hu , Fenfen Chen


Received November 27, 2010,Revised February 14, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1721-1728

Combined chemical analyses and biological measurements were utilized to investigate potential toxicological effects and possible mechanisms involved in risk assessment of rare earth elements (REEs) on Vicia faba L. seedlings, which were hydroponically cultivated and exposed to various concentrations of lanthanum (La) for 15 days. The results showed that La contents in both the solution and roots increased with the increase of extraneous La, contributing to hormetic dose responses of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and endoprotease (EP) isozymes activities, and HSP 70 production enhanced at low doses but suppressed at higher doses of La. These physiological responses constituted antioxidant and detoxification systems against La-induced oxidative stress. The elevated La levels also contributed to oxidatively modified proteins, which were most responsible for subsequent cell death and growth retardation of the roots. By combination of hormetic and traditional threshold dose levels, the threshold dose range was deduced to be 108-195 μg La/g dry weight in the roots, corresponding to 0.90-3.12 mg/L of soluble La in the culture solution. It suggests that persistent applications of REEs may lead to potential ecological risk in the environment.

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