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Subcellular distribution of zinc in Daphnia magna and implication for toxicity

Authors

  • Wen-Xiong Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.
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  • Rui Guan

    1. Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

We examined the subcellular partitioning of zinc (Zn) in Daphnia magna both under acute and chronic exposures. In the acute Zn toxicity tests, the daphnids were exposed to different Zn concentrations for 48 h or to one lethal concentration (1,000 µg/L) for different durations (time to death for up to 47 h). Significant mortality of daphnids was observed when the newly accumulated Zn concentration reached a threshold level of approximately 40 µg/g wet weight (or 320 µg/g dry wt), approximately 3.5 times higher than the background tissue concentration (92 µg/g dry wt). Chronic exposure (14 d) to Zn resulted in nonobservable effect on survivorship and growth at newly accumulated tissue concentration of over 40 µg/g wet weight. With increasing Zn acute exposure, more Zn was partitioned into the cellular debris fraction, indicating that this fraction was presumably the first targeted site of binding for Zn upon entering the animals. The importance of other subcellular fractions either decreased accordingly or remained comparable. We found that the metal-sensitive fraction (Zn distribution in the organelles and heat-denatured proteins) did not predict the acute Zn toxicity in Daphnia. During chronic exposure, however, no major change of the subcellular partitioning of Zn with increasing Zn exposure was documented. Zinc was mainly found in the organelles and heat-stable protein fractions during chronic exposure, suggesting that any subcellular repartitioning occurred primarily during acute exposure. Metallothioneins were induced upon chronic Zn exposure, but its induction evidently lagged behind the Zn accumulation. Our present study showed that the subcellular fractionation approach could not be readily used to predict the acute and chronic toxicities of Zn in Daphnia. A tissue-based Zn accumulation approach with a threshold Zn tissue concentration was better in predicting acute Zn toxicity. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010; 29:1841–1848. © 2010 SETAC

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