Validation of Armadillo Officinalis Dumèril, 1816 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea) as a bioindicator: In vivo study of air benzene exposure

A. Agodi, G. Oliveri Conti, M. Barchitta, A. Quattrocchi, B. M. Lombardo, G. Montesanto, G. Messina, M. Fiore, M. Ferrante

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This study tests the potential for using Armadillo officinalis as a bioindicator of exposure to and activation of benzene metabolic pathways using an in vivo model.A. officinalis specimens collected in a natural reserve were divided into a control and three test groups exposed to 2.00, 5.32 or 9.09μg/m3 benzene for 24h. Three independent tests were performed to assess model reproducibility. Animals were dissected to obtain three pooled tissue samples per group: hepatopancreas (HEP), other organs and tissues (OOT), and exoskeleton (EXO). Muconic acid (MA), S-phenylmercapturic acid (S-PMA), two human metabolites of benzene, and changes in mtDNA copy number, a human biomarker of benzene exposure, were determined in each sample benzene was determined only in EXO. MA was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet (UV) detection, S-PMA by triple quadrupole mass spectrometer liquid chromatography with electro spray ionization (LC-MS-ESI-TQD), mtDNA by real-time quantitative PCR and end-point PCR, and benzene by quadrupole mass spectrometer head-space gas chromatography (HSGC-MS).MA and S-PMA levels rose both in HEP and OOT; EXO exhibited increasing benzene concentrations; and mtDNA copy number rose in HEP but not in OOT samples. Overall, our findings demonstrate that A. officinalis is a sensitive bioindicator of air benzene exposure and show for the first time its ability to reproduce human metabolic dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzene
  • Bioindicator
  • Isopods
  • MA
  • MtDNA
  • S-PMA


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