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BIOMARKERS OF EXPOSURE FOR ASSESSING ENVIRONMENTAL METAL POLLUTION: FROM MOLECULES TO ECOSYSTEMS
Patricia MUSSALI-GALANTE, Efraín TOVAR-SÁNCHEZ, Mahara VALVERDE, Emilio ROJAS DEL CASTILLO;
Revista Internacional de Contaminación Ambiental 2013 29(1)
Resumen
Inglés Español
Metals are among the most prevalent substances released into the environment that have a profound effect on living organisms. Chronic environmental exposures usually exert a continuum of biological responses across levels of biological organization, ranging from alterations in molecules, compromising individual health and putting ecosystem integrity at risk. Such scenarios have triggered the research to establish "early-warning" signals, or "biomarkers", reflecting the adverse biological responses towards environmental pollution. In this review, we assess the different types of biomarkers most used to analyze environmental metal pollution across all levels of biological organization and in each section representative examples in human and animal species and/or wild populations are given. Also, the "omics" approach is described and how these novel technologies are reinventing the field of toxicology, providing "molecular signatures" of exposure, enabling a more robust risk assessment than has ever been achieved previously. Finally, conclusions and suggestions are given, highlighting why future efforts must focus on integrating biomarker response across levels of biological organization, which integrate realistic exposures using multi-species and multiple-biomarkers with prognostic value to resolve or at least have a closer insight into complex environmental problems.

Palabras clave: Metals, biomarkers, ecological markers, genetic toxicology, ecotoxicology, "omic" technologies.
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Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
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