|Molecular and Cellular Indices of Pollutant Effects and Their Use in Environmental Impact Assessment|
(1986). Molecular and Cellular Indices of Pollutant Effects and Their Use in Environmental Impact Assessment. Wat. Sci. Tech. 18(4-5): 223-232
In: Water Science and Technology. IWA Publishing: Oxford. ISSN 0273-1223, more
Biological effects; Genotoxicity; Lysosomes; Marine molluscs; Mussels; Pollutants; Reproduction; Marine
This presentation considers the development of early-warning systems based on biological responses to cell injury at the molecular, subcellular levels of organization, with particular emphasis on the use of marine mussels and periwinkles as sentinel organisms for assessing pollutant effects. Responses discussed include those of the microsomal detoxication system to organic xenobiotics, functional and structural responses of lysosomes to organic and inorganic xenobiotics, quantitative structural alterations in the cells of the digestive and reproductive systems and finally genotoxicity measured using aneuploidy and sister chromatid exchange as indices of chromosomal damage. The systems discussed demonstrate that rapid and highly sensitive diagnostic tests of molecular and cellular reactions to pollutant-induced injury are available or well along the path of development. The advantage of the cellular techniques over others, for assessment of environmental impact lies in the greatly increased sensitivity which can be obtained by concentrating on a single cell type which may be a primary target for pollutants, such as hepatopancreatic digestive cells or oocytes. Although the objective of this work has been largely toxicological, the knowledge gained from the experimental manipulation of molecular and cellular systems has considerable ramifications for many aspects of fundamental biological function and molecular ecology.