Cypermethrin induces glutathione S-transferase activity in the shore crab, Carcinus maenas

B T G Gowland, C F Moffat, R M Stagg, D F Houlihan, I M Davies

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that is particularly toxic to crustacea. It is therefore applied as a chemotherapeutant in the salmonid aquaculture industry for the treatment of sea lice infestations. After use. cypermethrin is released directly into the marine environment, to be diluted by fresh seawater. The shore crab, Carcinus maenas is found in the vicinity of fish farms, and may come into contact with released cypermethrin. The detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) has been implicated in cypermethrin metabolism in terrestrial arthropods, but this has not yet been demonstrated in crustacea. In this paper we investigate the response of GST activity in Carcinus to cypermethrin exposure. and also the time course of the induction process, GST activity is significantly increased in Carcinus exposed to nominal concentrations of 50 and 500 ng/l of water-borne cypermethrin. Carcinus demonstrate a significant elevation in GST activity following intra-cephalothoracic injection with 10 ng of cypermethrin. GST activity returns to basal levels after 36 h. The potential application of GST activity in Carcinus as a biomarker of cypermethrin exposure is discussed. Crown Copyright (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Carcinus maenas
  • GST
  • glutathione S-transferase
  • cypermethrin
  • sea lice
  • pyrethroid
  • FISH


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