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The key role of metallothioneins in the bivalve Corbicula fluminea during the depuration phase, after in situ exposure to Cd and Zn
Baudrimont, M.; Andres, S.; Durrieu, G.; Boudou, A. (2003). The key role of metallothioneins in the bivalve Corbicula fluminea during the depuration phase, after in situ exposure to Cd and Zn. Aquat. Toxicol. 63(2): 89-102
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Cadmium; Fresh water; Metallothioneins; Self purification; Zinc; Corbicula fluminea (O. F. Müller, 1774) [WoRMS]; France [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

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  • Baudrimont, M., correspondent
  • Andres, S.
  • Durrieu, G.
  • Boudou, A.

    An experimental study of the role of metallothioneins (MTs) in Cd and Zn depuration processes in the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea was conducted after in situ exposure on the river Lot (France). Specimens of adult C. fluminea were first transplanted from a lacustrine reference site to a polymetallic polluted station (Bouillac, B) for a 42-days' exposure period from September to November 1996. They were then depurated after transfer to the laboratory, and were sub-sampled periodically until May 1997. During the first phase, MT concentrations measured with the Mercury-Saturation Assay were induced for a factor of 3.5 compared with time 0, whereas metal uptake showed accumulation factors of 17 and 4 for Cd and Zn, respectively. During the depuration phase, Cd and Zn concentrations decreased by 18 and 70%, respectively, giving estimated biological half-lives of 500 and 40 days. During the same period, MT concentrations decreased by 37% after transfer under unpolluted conditions, especially between 0 and 3 days, suggesting that MTs play a predominant role in Cd depuration. The quantity of Cd sequestered by the MT fraction, after size-exclusion liquid chromatography, represents on average 40% of the total Cd bioaccumulated in the soft body of the molluscs, compared with only 4-9% for total accumulated Zn. This essential metal was principally bound to low molecular weight proteins, which represented 20% of total Zn. Furthermore, it was observed that MTs had a key role in Cd remanence in the bivalves, and it was also reported that other proteins or small peptides were involved in the depuration of Zn.

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