Article

Metallothionein responses in the Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea) after exposure to trivalent arsenic.

Instituto do Mar, Dept de Ciências e Engenharia do Ambiente, Caparica, Portugal.
Biomarkers (Impact Factor: 2.52). 01/2007; 12(6):589-98. DOI: 10.1080/13547500701507701
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The main objective of this work was to evaluate arsenic effects on metallothionein (MT) induction by exposing a freshwater Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea) to different concentrations of this metalloid. The presence of MT-like proteins was detected by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and compared with a standard rabbit MT. In addition, the polarographic response showed good correspondence between standard MT and MT-like curves from C. fluminea, allowing MT quantification. The results show that clams exposed to different concentrations of arsenic are able to induce significant levels of MTs. Although variability was found in MT induction, significant differences in MT levels were found after 28 days of exposure in all treatments in comparison with the controls, suggesting that exposure to arsenic induced MT-like proteins in C. fluminea.

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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As) is a common element in aquatic environments and it is originated from both anthropogenic and natural processes. It is a toxic metalloid, especially in the trivalent form (arsenite), to humans and wildlife, and consequently its contamination of aquatic environments (especially groundwater and drinking water) is a serious public health problem in several regions around the globe, particularly in Asia, since it is known to cause cancer and other types of pathologies. The main goal of the present study was to assess the toxicological effects, bioaccumulation and ability to regulate As in Corbicula fluminea (Muller 1744), exposed to different concentrations of As in the water. One hundred fresh-water bivalves (1.6 ± 0.3 g) from the Minho River (Portugal) were randomly distributed in ten 20-L tanks and exposed to different nominal concentrations of As (100, 300, 500, and 1000 µg L -1 ) for 28 days. A tank with tap water free of chlorine was used as control. The assay was performed in duplicate, at a constant temperature of 20 ± 1ºC. The results showed a significant increase (P < 0.01) of As in the total concentration and cytosolic fraction after 28 days of exposure in all treatments. A significant increase (P < 0.01) in metallothionein concentration was also detected in bivalves exposed to the different concentrations of As, in comparison with the controls. The histological and histochemical evaluation provided clear evidence that As accumulated in tissues, especially in the digestive gland, and caused tissue alterations in 50% of the organisms.
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