Cyanobacteria-blooming water samples from Lake Taihu induce endoplasmic reticulum stress in liver and kidney of mice

Wendi Qin, Liuyan Yang, Xuxiang Zhang, Zongyao Zhang, Lizhi Xu, Jun Wu, Jing An, Yaping Wang
Ecotoxicology 2012, 21 (5): 1495-503
To investigate whether endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was involved in apoptosis induced by cyanobacteria-blooming water, healthy male ICR mice were fed with water samples from cyanobacteria-blooming regions of Lake Taihu (China), including Meiliang Bay (M1 and M2), central lake region (H), macrophyte-dominated Xukou Bay (X), and tap water (control group) for three consecutive months. Hepatic and renal mRNA and protein expression of ER stress signaling molecules were measured with quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting. Compared to macrophyte-dominated and control water samples, cyanobacteria-blooming water changed hepatic ER stress signaling molecules. M1 water treatment increased the mRNA and protein levels of glucose regulation protein 78 (GRP78) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), and decreased the mRNA levels of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). M2 water treatment up-regulated GRP78 mRNA and protein expression, whereas H water treatment up-regulated mRNA and protein expression of GRP78 and caspase-12. Cyanobacteria-blooming water exposure also changed mRNA and protein expression of ER stress signaling molecules in the kidneys. M1 water exposure up-regulated GRP78 mRNA and protein expression and CHOP mRNA expression, whereas M2 water treatment up-regulated caspase-12 and Bcl-2 mRNA expression. M1 and M2 cyanobacteria-blooming water exposure significantly increased relative liver weights, and induced hepatic cell apoptosis. However, cyanobacteria-blooming water treatment did not change kidney weights, and did not induce renal apoptosis compared to macrophyte-dominated and control water samples. Hence, cyanobacteria-blooming water induces hepatic apoptosis via ER stress, and ER stress may play an important role in the apparent anti-apoptotic effects on renal cells exposed to cyanobacteria-blooming water.

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