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Influence Of Field And Experimental Exposure Of Mussels (Mytilus Sp.) To Nickel And Vanadium On Metallothionein Concentration.

J. Amiard, R. Journel, H. Bacheley
Published 2008 · Biology, Medicine

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In mussels impacted by the V- and Ni-rich oil dispersed in the environment after the << Erika >> wreck, a significant and positive correlation was observed between metallothionein (MT) and V concentrations whereas no correlation was observed between MT and Ni concentrations. Mussels were exposed separately to V and Ni in the laboratory. The highest concentrations tested (> or =2000 ng V per individual; > or =50 ng Ni per individual) were responsible for V and Ni bioaccumulation. In the case of V, the metal was preferentially stored in the insoluble fraction of the soft tissues but with increasing body burden, the part of soluble V increased from 19 to 41%. Metallothionein was induced in mussels exposed to V but not in those exposed to Ni. In addition, in mussels originating from a shellfish farming area which showed abnormally high levels of V, depuration showed concomitant decreases of V and MT. It is the first report in the literature of a functional link between MT and V. When interpreting surveys of metal pollution based upon the use of MT, one must be aware that V may be responsible for MT synthesis, explaining likely high levels of this biomarker in the absence of metals known as MT inducers.
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