Toxicokinetics of copper and cadmium in the soil model Enchytraeus crypticus (Oligochaeta)

Fátima C.F. Santos, Cornelis A.M. van Gestel, Mónica J.B. Amorim*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Toxicokinetics information is key to understanding the underlying intoxication processes, although this is often lacking. Hence, in the present study the toxicokinetics of copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) was assessed in the soil invertebrate Enchytraeus crypticus. The animals were exposed in LUFA 2.2 natural soil spiked to the estimated EC20 for reproduction effects in the Enchytraeid Reproduction Test (ERT), i.e. 80 mg Cu/kg soil Dry Weight (DW) and 20 mg Cd/kg soil DW. Tests followed the OECD guideline 317, including a 14-day uptake phase in spiked soil followed by 14 days elimination in clean soil, with samplings at days 0, 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, and 14. Exposure to Cu showed fast uptake, reaching a steady state after approx. 7 days, whereas for Cd, internal concentration increased and did not reach a clear steady state even after 14 days. When transferred to clean soil, Cu was rapidly eliminated returning to initial levels, while Cd-exposed animals still contained increased residue levels after 14 days. These differences in toxicokinetics have consequences for the toxicity and toxicodynamics and are indicative of the way essential and non-essential elements are handled by enchytraeids, likely also other soil invertebrates. This argues for the relevancy of longer exposure testing for elements like Cd compared to Cu, where phenotypical effects can well occur later at non-tested periods, e.g. after the 21 days’ duration of the standard ERT using E. crypticus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number129433
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    Early online date26 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - May 2021


    • Bioaccumulation
    • Elimination
    • Enchytraeids
    • Kinetics
    • Toxicodynamics
    • Uptake


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