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Mercury accumulation and flux across the gills and the intestine of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)
Andres, S.; Laporte, J.-M.; Mason, R.P. (2002). Mercury accumulation and flux across the gills and the intestine of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). Aquat. Toxicol. 56(4): 303-320
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Bioaccumulation; Marine crustaceans; Membranes; Mercury; Methyl mercury; Perfusion; Uptake; Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 [WoRMS]; AW, West Atlantic [Marine Regions]; MED, Eastern Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Andres, S.
  • Laporte, J.-M.
  • Mason, R.P., correspondent

    This paper details the results of perfusion experiments examining the accumulation of inorganic and methylmercury (Hg and MMHg) into the gill and intestine tissue of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. Additionally, the flux across the tissue to an internal medium, representative of crab tissue or haemolymph, during the perfusion was also measured. The accumulation and transfer processes were studied for each form by exposing the organs to a wide range of Hg and MMHg water concentrations, as well as a mixture of the two Hg forms. Experiments were also performed at different temperatures and in the presence of a metabolic inhibitor to assess the accumulation mechanisms. While the Hg levels bioaccumulated in the two organs were of the same order, the fluxes of Hg from the tissue to the internal medium were slightly higher in the intestine than in the gill. At low external concentrations, the uptake was very similar for both Hg forms, but as exposure pressure increased, inorganic Hg uptake slowed whereas MMHg uptake increased linearly. The results from the perfusion experiments with a mixture of inorganic Hg and MMHg show that while these two forms of Hg do share common uptake pathways, there is also independent uptake. The temperature and inhibition experiments with ouabain, a Na+K+ATPase inhibitor, show that accumulation is at least partially energy dependent. Overall, the results suggest that there is more than one mechanism of accumulation for both Hg forms. Finally, as accumulation of Hg and MMHg into these tissues was similar, these results contrast with the literature assertion that the enhanced bioaccumulation of MMHg over inorganic Hg is a result of MMHg being more readily transported across the gut membrane.

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