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Effects of organism preparation in metallothionein and metal analysis in marine invertebrates for biomonitoring marine pollution

Effects of organism preparation in metallothionein and metal analysis in marine invertebrates for biomonitoring marine pollution
Effects of organism preparation in metallothionein and metal analysis in marine invertebrates for biomonitoring marine pollution
Metallothionein (MT) is established as a potentially useful biomarker for monitoring aquatic pollution. This paper addresses widespread inconsistencies in storage conditions, tissue type selection and pre-treatment of samples before MT and metal analysis in biomarker studies. This variation hampers comparability and so the widespread implementation of this monitoring approach. Actively sampled Mytilus edulis in Southampton Water, UK were exposed to different storage temperatures, a variety tissue types were analysed, and various pre-treatments of transportation on ice, transportation in seawater, depuration, and rapid dissection in the field were examined. Storage temperatures of -20?C were found to be adequate for periods of at least ten weeks, as MT was not reduced by protein degradation compared with samples kept at -80?C. Whole tissue and digestive gland concentrations of MT and metals were significantly positively correlated and directly relatable. MT in the digestive gland appeared to be more responsive to metals than in whole tissue, where it may be diluted, masking MT responses. However, longer study periods may suffer the effects of mass changes to the digestive gland, which alters MT concentration, and it may therefore be advisable to measure whole tissue. Depuration and transportation in seawater reduced both MT and metal concentrations in the digestive gland, and few correlations between MT and metals were identified for these treatments. It is therefore recommended that: i) samples are transported to the laboratory on ice and dissected as soon as possible thereafter, ii) depuration should not be used when examining MT response to metal exposure until further research clarifying its utility is reported, iii) either whole tissue or the digestive gland can be used to measure MT, though whole tissue may be preferable on long-term studies, and iv) organisms can be stored at -20?C before analysis for up to ten weeks. These practices can be applied to future biomonitoring studies and will improve the comparability and repeatability of using MT as a biomarker.
biomonitoring, pre-treatments, metallothionein, digestive gland, marine inverterbrates, metal pollution
0048-9697
238-247
Oaten, J.F.P.
22670da2-3f34-4400-866f-b5dedcdc28f2
Hudson, Malcolm D.
1ae18506-6f2a-48af-8c72-83ab28679f55
Jensen, A.C.
ff1cabd2-e6fa-4e34-9a39-5097e2bc5f85
Williams, I.D.
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Oaten, J.F.P.
22670da2-3f34-4400-866f-b5dedcdc28f2
Hudson, Malcolm D.
1ae18506-6f2a-48af-8c72-83ab28679f55
Jensen, A.C.
ff1cabd2-e6fa-4e34-9a39-5097e2bc5f85
Williams, I.D.
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22

Oaten, J.F.P., Hudson, Malcolm D., Jensen, A.C. and Williams, I.D. (2015) Effects of organism preparation in metallothionein and metal analysis in marine invertebrates for biomonitoring marine pollution. Science of the Total Environment, 518-519, 238-247. (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.003).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Metallothionein (MT) is established as a potentially useful biomarker for monitoring aquatic pollution. This paper addresses widespread inconsistencies in storage conditions, tissue type selection and pre-treatment of samples before MT and metal analysis in biomarker studies. This variation hampers comparability and so the widespread implementation of this monitoring approach. Actively sampled Mytilus edulis in Southampton Water, UK were exposed to different storage temperatures, a variety tissue types were analysed, and various pre-treatments of transportation on ice, transportation in seawater, depuration, and rapid dissection in the field were examined. Storage temperatures of -20?C were found to be adequate for periods of at least ten weeks, as MT was not reduced by protein degradation compared with samples kept at -80?C. Whole tissue and digestive gland concentrations of MT and metals were significantly positively correlated and directly relatable. MT in the digestive gland appeared to be more responsive to metals than in whole tissue, where it may be diluted, masking MT responses. However, longer study periods may suffer the effects of mass changes to the digestive gland, which alters MT concentration, and it may therefore be advisable to measure whole tissue. Depuration and transportation in seawater reduced both MT and metal concentrations in the digestive gland, and few correlations between MT and metals were identified for these treatments. It is therefore recommended that: i) samples are transported to the laboratory on ice and dissected as soon as possible thereafter, ii) depuration should not be used when examining MT response to metal exposure until further research clarifying its utility is reported, iii) either whole tissue or the digestive gland can be used to measure MT, though whole tissue may be preferable on long-term studies, and iv) organisms can be stored at -20?C before analysis for up to ten weeks. These practices can be applied to future biomonitoring studies and will improve the comparability and repeatability of using MT as a biomarker.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 March 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 March 2015
Published date: 15 June 2015
Keywords: biomonitoring, pre-treatments, metallothionein, digestive gland, marine inverterbrates, metal pollution
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Centre for Environmental Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 375032
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/375032
ISSN: 0048-9697
PURE UUID: 258643f2-03b3-495a-a3c9-83fa38801a40
ORCID for A.C. Jensen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8924-1198
ORCID for I.D. Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-1219

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Mar 2015 13:17
Last modified: 30 Mar 2022 01:32

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Contributors

Author: J.F.P. Oaten
Author: A.C. Jensen ORCID iD
Author: I.D. Williams ORCID iD

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