School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

Effects of elevated temperature on gonadal functions, cellular apoptosis, and oxidative stress in Atlantic sea urchin Arbacia punculata

Document Type


Publication Date



Increasing seawater temperature affects growth, reproduction and development in marine organisms. In this study, we examined the effects of elevated temperatures on reproductive functions, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and nitrotyrosine protein (NTP, an indicator of reactive nitrogen species) expressions, protein carbonyl (PC, an indicator of oxidative stress) contents, cellular apoptosis, and coelomic fluid (CF) conditions in Atlantic sea urchin. Sea urchins were housed in six aquaria with control (24 °C) and elevated temperatures (28 °C and 32 °C) for a 7-day period. After exposure, sea urchins exhibited decreased percentages of gametes (eggs/sperm), as well as increased HSP70 and NTP expressions in eggs and spermatogenic cells, increased gonadal apoptosis, and decreased CF pH compared to controls. PC contents were also significantly increased in gonadal tissues at higher temperatures. These results suggest that elevated temperature acidifies CF, increases oxidative stress and gonadal apoptosis, and results in impairment of reproductive functions in sea urchins.


Original published version available at

Publication Title

Marine Environmental Research