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Pleiotropic effects of hexavalent chromium (CrVI) in Mytilus galloprovincialis digestive gland


, : Pleiotropic effects of hexavalent chromium (CrVI) in Mytilus galloprovincialis digestive gland. Chemosphere 83(8): 1087-1095

Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) is an important contaminant considered as a model oxidative toxicant released from both domestic and industrial effluents, and represents the predominant chemical form of the metal in aquatic ecosystems. On the other hand, in mammals the reduced form Cr(III) is considered an essential microelement, involved in regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism; moreover, recent evidence suggests that Cr may have endocrine effects. In this work, the effects of Cr(VI) were investigated in the digestive gland of the marine bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis. Mussels were exposed to 0.1-1-10-100 μg Cr(VI) L(-1) animal(-1) for 96 h. At 100 μg L(-1), a large increase in total Cr tissue content was observed; in these conditions, the lysosomal membranes were completely destabilized, whereas other lysosomal biomarkers (neutral lipids-NL and lipofuscin-LF), as well as different enzyme activities and gene expression were unaffected, this indicating severe stress conditions in the tissue. On the other hand, at lower concentrations, changes in other histochemical, biochemical and molecular endpoints were observed. In particular, at both 1 and 10 μg L(-1), lysosomal destabilization was associated with significant NL and LF accumulation; however, no changes in catalase and GSH transferase (GST) activities were observed. At the same concentrations, GSSG reductase (GSR) activity was significantly increased, this probably reflecting the recycling of GSSG produced in the GSH-mediated intracellular reduction of Cr(VI). Increased activities of the key glycolytic enzymes PFK (phosphofructokinase) and PK (pyruvate kinase) were also observed, indicating that Cr(VI) could affect carbohydrate metabolism. Cr(VI) induced downregulation or no effects on the expression of metallothioneins MT10 and MT20, except for an increase in MT20 transcription in males. Moreover, significant up-regulation of the Mytilus estrogen receptor MeER2 and serotonin receptor (5-HTR) were observed in both sexes. The results demonstrate that exposure to Cr(VI) in the low ppb range did not result in strong toxicity or oxidative stress conditions in mussel digestive gland. On the other hand, our data support the hypothesis that low concentrations of the metal can exert pleiotropic effects on mussel physiology, from modulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, to effects on the expression of estrogen-responsive genes.

US$19.90

PMID: 21316074

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.01.037


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