This work addresses the use of the fatty acid profile as an environmental risk assessment, using the marine snail as an example. The initial effects of pollutants are observed primarily at the biochemical and molecular level. Thus, total lipid content, lipid peroxidation, fatty acid profile, were the biomarkers examined after an exposure of three metals: nickel, mercury and cadmium. The fatty acid profile revealed a change in the immune response and homeoviscous adaptation of snails. In particular, five fatty acids (palmitic, eicosatrienoic, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids) have been shown to be potentially useful for use as stress biomarkers in metal contamination.

Published in: Science of the Total Environment, 586, 542-550

Authors: Silva CO, Simões T, Novais SC, Pimparel I, Granada L, Soares AMV, Barata C, Lemos MFL