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Hazardous effects of effluent from the chrome plating industry: 70 kDa heat shock protein expression as a marker of cellular damage in transgenic Drosophila melanogaster (hsp70-lacZ).

Hazardous effects of an effluent from the chrome plating industry were examined by exposing transgenic Drosophila melanogaster (hsp70-lacZ) to various concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 1.0, 10.0, and 100.0 micro L/mL) of the effluent through diet. The emergence pattern of adult flies was affected, along with impaired reproductive performance at the higher dietary concentrations of the effluent. Interestingly, the effect of the effluent was more pronounced in male than in female flies. The effect of the effluent on development of adult flies was concurrent with the expression pattern of the heat shock protein 70 gene (hsp70), both in larval tissues and in the reproductive organs of adult flies. We observed a dose- and time-dependent expression of hsp70 in third instar larvae exposed for different time intervals. Absence of hsp70 expression in larvae exposed to 0.1 micro L/mL of the effluent indicated that this is the highest nontoxic concentration for Drosophila. The stress gene assay in the reproductive organs of adult flies revealed hsp70 expression in the testis of male flies only. However, trypan blue dye exclusion tests in these tissues indicate tissue damage in the male accessory gland of adult flies, which was further confirmed by ultrastructural observations. In the present study we demonstrate the utility of transgenic Drosophila as an alternative animal model for evaluating hazardous effects of the effluent from the chrome plating industry and further reveal the cytoprotective role of hsp70 and its expression as an early marker in environmental risk assessment.