Micronucleus induction in gill cells of green-lipped mussels (Perna viridis) exposed to mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated pesticides

Authors

  • William H. L. Siu,

    1. Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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  • Eva Mak,

    1. Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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  • Jia Cao,

    1. Department of Environmental Toxicology School of Preventive Medicine The Third Military Medical University Chongqing 400038 People's Republic of China
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  • Sharon B. De Luca-Abbott,

    1. Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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  • Bruce J. Richardson,

    1. Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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  • Paul K. S. Lam

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
    • Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Different groups of green-lipped mussels (Perna viridis) were exposed to the same net amount of a genotoxicant mixture of four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ([PAHs]; anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene) and four organochlorine pesticides ([OCs]; α-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), aldrin, dieldrin, and p,p′-DDT) for four weeks under different regimes that simulated various scenarios of fluctuating toxicant levels in the marine environment. Micronucleus (MN) formation in gill cells was studied at the end of each week. Micronucleus frequencies increased with continual addition of genotoxicants, and did not diminish significantly under conditions of either gradually decreasing concentrations or cessation of exposure for one to two weeks, suggesting that the MN response may persist over relatively long exposure periods. An almost two-fold higher mean MN frequency was recorded in a chronic exposure group than in an acute group that had received the same net nominal dose of genotoxicants, indicating that chronic exposure may lead to a greater genotoxic impact than acute exposure. The results suggested that in field studies, MN response should be monitored at multiple time points in order to elucidate the effects of potentially fluctuating toxicant levels. Finally, MN formation was positively correlated with both nominal contaminant levels and tissue levels of the genotoxicants. These findings suggest that MN responses can be a sensitive indicator of exposure to relatively low levels of genotoxicants and that MN response in mussel gill cells can be a stable biomarker of genotoxicity.

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