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Multi-endpoint assays reveal more severe toxicity induced by chloraminated effluent organic matter than chloraminated natural organic matter

Qian-Yuan Wu , Hai-Yan Wang , De-Xiu Wu , Ye Du , Xiao-Tong Lv


Received October 24, 2022,Revised , Accepted January 08, 2023, Available online January 13, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 310-317

Disinfection by chloramination produces toxic byproducts and the difference in toxicity of reclaimed and drinking water treated by chloramination remains unclear. This study investigated cytotoxic effects at the same concentrations of dissolved organic matter and showed that chloraminated effluent organic matter (EfOM) induced 1.7 times higher cytotoxicity than chloraminated natural organic matter (NOM) applied to simulate drinking water. Chloraminated EfOM induced more reactive nitrogen species than chloraminated NOM, and chloraminated EfOM and NOM induced similar and higher levels of reactive oxygen species than the negative control, respectively. Consequently, intracellular macromolecule damage indicated by DNA/RNA damage marker 8‑hydroxy-(deoxy)guanosine and the intracellular protein carbonyl concentration induced by chloraminated EfOM was higher and slightly more than that induced by chloraminated NOM, respectively. These data were consistent with the effects on cell physiological processes. Cell cycle arrest mainly occurred in G2 phase by chloraminated EfOM and NOM. Early apoptotic cells, which could return to normal, increased upon exposure to high concentrations of chloraminated EfOM and NOM. Moreover, necrotic cells were significantly increased from 0.5% to 2.5% when the concentration increased from 20- to 60-fold chloraminated EfOM, but were not obviously changed by chloraminated NOM. These results indicated that the comprehensive intracellular changes induced by toxic substances in chloraminated EfOM were more irreversible and induced more cell death than chloraminated NOM.

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