Histopathology alterations and histochemistry measurements in mussel, Mytilus edulis collected offshore from an aluminium smelter industry (Norway)
ABSTRACT Histopathological characteristics of specific organs express condition, and represent time-integrated impacts on the organism stemming from alterations at lower levels of biological organisation. As integrative parameters, histochemical investigations have proved to be sensitive tools to detect effects of chemical compounds.The objective of this study was to determine changes in the tissues of mussels collected at a PAH contaminated site compared to a reference site using histopathological and histochemical parameters: lipofuscin (LF) accumulation in mussel digestive gland, and lysosomal membrane stability (LMS), and using additional information provided by body burden analysis to compare the sensitivity of these parameters.The histochemical measurements for both LF and LMS gave a clear indication of a high level of stress in animals from the PAH contaminated site. This LF accumulation in lysosomes is the result of peroxidation of autophagocytosed proteins associated with protein aggregates and oxidatively damaged organelles. These measurements were able to detect the effects of PAHs, and showed a strong relationship with the body burden results.