Marine life is extremely sensitive to the effects of environmental noise due to its reliance on underwater sounds for basic life functions, such as searching for food and mating. However, the effects on invertebrate species are not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to determine the biochemical responses of Arbacia lixula exposed to high-frequency noise. Protein concentration, enzyme activity (esterase, phosphatase and peroxidase) and cytotoxicity in coelomic fluid were compared in individuals exposed for three hours to consecutive linear sweeps of 100 to 200 kHz lasting 1 s, and control specimens. Sound pressure levels ranged between 145 and 160 dB re 1μPa. Coelomic fluid was extracted and the gene and protein expression of HSP70 with RT-PCR was evaluated on coelomocytes. A significant change was found in enzyme activity and in the expression of the HSP70 gene and protein compared to the control. These results suggested that high-frequency stimuli elicit a noise-induced physiological stress response in A. lixula, confirming the vulnerability of this species to acoustic exposure. Furthermore, these findings provide the first evidence that cell-free coelomic fluid can be used as a signal to evaluate noise exposure in marine invertebrates.
- Molecular Biology