Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Ruditapes philippinarum
Yong Seok Lee, Yong Hun Jo, In Sun Byun, Se Won Kang, Eun Mi Cho, Yeon Soo Han, Sang-Haeng Choi, Hong-Seog Park, Weon-Gyu Kho, In-Young Ahn, and Kye-Heon Jeong
Department of Parasitology, Inje University College of Medicine and Department of Malariology, PICR, Busan 614-735, Korea
The present study was conducted to confirm that a bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum can be used as a biomarker for the monitoring of the heavy metal pollution in the silt of the marine environment. The clams were collected from the silt of Cheonsu-bay, Buheung-ri, and Tan-island of the West Sea, Korea. To observe the normal structures of the target organs (hepatopancreas and gill), they were dissected out for the immunohistochemical study and the electron microscopy with TEM, SEM, and SEM-EDS. The immunohistochemical study showed that the interdiverticular connective tissues of the hepatopancreas, and the outer epithelium of the gill lamellae was strongly reacted to anti-metallothionein (MT), indicating the presence of MT, a metal-binding protein, involved in metal detoxifying process. According to the examinations under the TEM, the epithelial cells of the hepatopancreas of the clams collected from polluted area (Tan-island) showed certain changes such as swollen rER, swollen nuclear envelope and inclusion bodies in the nulcei. In the SEM-EDS analysis, tissue of the hepatopancreas showed relatively higher concentration of S, Zn, and Cd. These elements are supposed to be concerning with the MT-reaction in the hepatopancreas. Considering that the coastal bivalve R. philippinarum showed immediate subcellular responses to heavy metal pollution in the overall experiments conducted, this species might act as one of efficient biomarkers for the heavy metal contamination in the marine environment.
  
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