Hsp70, so-called stress proteins, were studied in the centipede Lithobius mutabilis when exposed in laboratory tests to different concentrations of the insecticide dimethoate (DMT; 0, 0.012, 0.111 mg k-1dwt), the detergent linear alkilobenzene sulfonate (LAS;0, 16, 80, 400, 2000, 10,000 mg kg-1dwt), and copper (Cu; 0, 56,167, 500, 1000, 1500 mg kg-1dwt) and in the field in captured animals from polluted (2 and 4 km from a zinc-anti-lead smelter)and unpolluted (35 and 40 km from the smelter) areas. Hsp70 in centipedes were also tested for seasonal differences (March and September) in field-captured animals and for a temperature effect under laboratory conditions (5, 15, and 25°C). Moreover, hsp70 were examined in housefly (Musca domestica) pupae after rearing larvae on food medium contaminated with DMT or LAS. Hsp70 were found in all animals tested, including controls, and their levels were not clearly related to the laboratory treatment with chemicals or temperature or to the degree of contamination in polluted areas. In centipedes from unpolluted areas, a significant seasonal difference in hsp70 content was found. The problems with using hsp70 as a universal biomarker in ecotoxicological studies are discussed.
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