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Nickel essentiality and homeostasis in aquatic organisms
Muyssen, B.T.A.; Brix, K.V.; DeForest, D.K.; Janssen, C.R. (2004). Nickel essentiality and homeostasis in aquatic organisms. Environ. Rev. 12(2): 113-131
In: Environmental Reviews. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 1181-8700, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Homeostasis; Nickel; Regulation; Marine; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Muyssen, B.T.A., more
  • Brix, K.V.
  • DeForest, D.K.
  • Janssen, C.R., more

    It has been well established that a number of trace metals are essential for various biological functions and are critical in many of the enzymatic and metabolic reactions occurring within an organism. The essentiality of nickel is now generally accepted, based on the numerous symptoms caused by nickel deficiency (mainly in terrestrial vertebrates) and its essential role in various enzymes in bacteria and plants. The information on optimal and deficient concentrations of nickel, however, is limited and the essentiality of nickel to aquatic animals is not established. The purpose of this review is to synthesize the available information on nickel essentiality and homeostasis in aquatic organisms. There is less information on these topics compared to that for other essential metals. Nickel essentiality to aquatic organisms can only be confirmed for plants and (cyano)bacteria due to the documented role of nickel in the urease and hydrogenase metabolism. Deficiency levels ranged from 10-12 M to 2 × 10-6 M Ni in different species. No studies were identified that had the explicit objective of evaluating homeostatic mechanisms for nickel in aquatic life. However, inferences could be made through the evaluation of nickel bioconcentration and tissue distribution data and a comparison to other metals that have been more thoroughly studied. Data suggest active regulation and therefore nickel essentiality, since there are no known examples of active regulation of non-essential metals in invertebrates.

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