Antioxidant responses and oxidative stress in sheepshead minnow larvae exposed to Corexit 9500<sup>®</sup> or its component surfactant, DOSS.


Large-scale use of dispersants to remediate oil spills has raised concerns about their toxicity to marine organisms. Of particular concern is oxidative stress and resulting membrane damage due to exposure to surfactants in dispersant mixtures. We investigated the potential of the dispersant Corexit 9500® and one of its major components, the anionic surfactant dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), to induce oxidative stress in larval sheepshead minnows after 24 and 96h exposures, at two sublethal concentrations, the lesser being environmentally realistic for each compound. Corexit exposures elicited only minimal antioxidant responses for most antioxidant components tested, with increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities observed only after 96h and at the higher exposure concentration. In contrast, DOSS induced statistically significant increases in the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), GPx, and lipid peroxidation, as well as depleted reduced glutathione (GSH) levels at both time points and concentrations. These data indicate that short-term and environmentally realistic exposures to DOSS can impact antioxidant response capabilities, raising concern about its use in oil dispersants and other high volume use products where environmental releases are likely.