EFFECT OF SUBLETHAL DOSES OF CADMIUM, INORGANIC MERCURY AND METHYLMERCURY ON THE CELL MORPHOLOGY OF AN INSECT CELL LINE (AEDES ALBOPICTUS, C6/36)

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Abstract

The effect of CdCl2(44μm), HgCl2(3.7μm), and MeHgCl (2μm) on the morphology ofAedes albopictusC6/36 cells was studied at the light microscopical level. Treatment times and metal concentrations were in the sublethal range as determined by a fluorometric dye exclusion test. The three metal species had profound effects on the cell morphology. MeHgCl treatment induced the development of a large number of short, actin-supported, tangled filopodia. Both CdCl2and HgCl2induced long extensions. Pretreatment with colchicine but not with cyto-chalasin B prevented formation of these extensions which suggests that they were supported by microtubules. This was confirmed by immunostaining for microtubules. The extensions were relatively stable towards colchicine post-treatment. To authors’ knowledge, this effect has not yet been described for heavy metals. The similarity with 20-hydroxyecdysone-treated cells and the occurrence of cytoplasmic feet in insect cells is discussed.

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