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Trophic transfer and in vivo immunotoxicological effects of tributyltin (TBT) in polar seastar Leptasterias polaris
Békri, K.; Pelletier, É. (2004). Trophic transfer and in vivo immunotoxicological effects of tributyltin (TBT) in polar seastar Leptasterias polaris. Aquat. Toxicol. 66(1): 39-53.
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Bioaccumulation; Metabolism; Phagocytosis; Tributyltin; Asteroidea [WoRMS]; Leptasterias (Hexasterias) polaris (Müller & Troschel, 1842) [WoRMS]; ANW, Canada, Quebec, St. Lawrence Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Békri, K.
  • Pelletier, É., correspondent

    This study investigated the potential in vivo immunotoxic effects of tributyltin (TBT) on amoebocytes of 6-armed seastar Leptasterias polaris. Tested animals were contaminated by trophic transfer via alive contaminated prey consisting of blue mussels (3 µg TBT g-1 wet weight (WW) tissue) exposed to seawater containing dissolved TBT. Four biomarkers of immunotoxicological effects were monitored over 45 days at different sampling times (9, 24, 48 and 72 h, 11, 18, 25, 32 and 45 days): amoebocytes count (AC), cell viability using Trypan blue exclusion test, phagocytic activity (PA) using a suspension of dead bacteria labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and injected directly in the coelomic fluid of the animals, and lysosomal integrity (LI) using the neutral red (NR) retention test. Data showed that TBT and its metabolites (DBT and MBT) bioaccumulated preferentially in pyloric caeca, whereas gonads contained only small quantities. Despite the differences in exposure periods to the contaminated diet and in burdens of butyltins (BTs) ingested by the various contaminated groups, there were no significant differences in body burdens of BTs. Only 6.2 ± 2.0% of total ingested BTs were retained in soft tissues of seastars. Even if butyltins were not detected in the coelomic fluid (CF), their detrimental effects have been detected in the phagocytic activity of amoebocytes and their lysosomal retention of neutral red, but no effects were observed on amoebocytes count and their viability. These results show that seastar L. polaris possesses adequate mechanisms to depurate ingested TBT without supporting major disturbances of its immune defence system. By their ability to digest whole contaminated prey and eliminate only dissolved metabolites, L. polaris and other seastars with the same preying mode could play a role of "recycling organisms" in coastal environments where toxicants, such as butyltins and other metallic species are accumulated by bivalves and particularly blue mussels.

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