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Uptake of mercury by the gills of the fresh water Chinese crab Eriocheir sinensis (Milne-Edwards)
Barradas, C.; Pèqueux, A. (1996). Uptake of mercury by the gills of the fresh water Chinese crab Eriocheir sinensis (Milne-Edwards). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C, Comp. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 113(2): 157-160.
In: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. C. Comparative Pharmacology and Toxicology. Pergamon: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0742-8413, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    crab; cuticle; epithelium; gill; influx; mercury; transport; Eriocheirsinensis

Authors  Top 
  • Barradas, C.
  • Pèqueux, A.

    An in vitro perfused preparation of gills isolated from the euryhaline Chinese crab Eriocheir sinensis has been used to investigate the uptake of mercury. The results show that mercury crosses the epithelio-cuticular complex of the anterior respiratory gills and of the posterior salt-transporting gills. Mercury passes down its concentration gradient and it may reasonably be concluded that the heavy metal enters the crab via diffusion. However, the mercury influx through the epithelio-cuticular complex is significantly increased when the concentration gradient of mercury is nullified by the addition of mercury to the internal perfusion medium. A mechanism such as exchange-diffusion could then be involved in the transepithelial movements of mercury in crab gills, but this remains a matter of speculation. It is also demonstrated that the metabolic inhibitor 2,4-dinitrophenol, applied in the perfusion medium, drastically and immediately inhibits the influx of mercury through the anterior gills, substantiating the idea that a mechanism requiring metabolic energy is involved in the transepithelial movements of mercury. The nature of the non-diffusional component of mercury transport remains a matter of controversy.

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