Asparagopsis armata exudate cocktail: the quest for the mechanisms of toxic action of an invasive seaweed on marine invertebrates.
The seaweed Asparagopsis armata exhibits a strong invasive behavior, producing halogenated compounds with effective biological effects. This study addresses the biochemical responses to sublethal concentrations of A. armata exudate on the marine snail Gibbula umbilicalis whole body and the shrimp Palaemon elegans eyes and hepatopancreas. Antioxidant defenses superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), oxidative damage endpoints lipid peroxidation (LPO) and DNA damage, the neuronal parameter acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and the fatty acid profile were evaluated. Results revealed different metabolic responses in both species. Despite previous studies indicating that the exudate affected G. umbilicalis' survival and behavior, this does not seem to result from oxidative stress or neurotoxicity. For P. elegans, the inhibition of AChE and the decrease of antioxidant capacity is concomitant with the increase of LPO, suggesting neurotoxicity and oxidative stress as contributor mechanisms of toxicity for this species. Fatty acid profile changes were more pronounced for P. elegans with a general increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with the exudate exposure, which commonly means a defense mechanism protecting from membrane disruption. Nonetheless, the omega-3 PUFAs arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) increased in both invertebrates, indicating a common regulation mechanism of inflammation and immunity responses.