Effects of cadmium alone and in combination with pH on bioaccumulation, tissue structure, and enzyme activity of the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis

Highlights

• Determined bioaccumulation and tissue distribution of cadmium alone and in combination with pH in Eriocheir sinensis

• Cadmium bioaccumulation decreased as gill > hepatopancreas > muscle

• The highest cadmium residue concentration was detected in 14 days

• With reduced values of pH, cadmium bioaccumulation decreased in tissues

• Lower pH reduced the toxicity of cadmium to Eriocheir sinensis

Abstract

In this study, Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) were exposed to various combinations of reduced pH (7.8, 7.3, and 6.5) and cadmium (Cd; 0 and 1 mg·L−1) for 7, 14, and 21 days. The reduced pH and 1 mg·L−1 Cd treatment significantly decreased the Cd concentration in crab tissues in the order of pH 7.8 > pH 7.3 > pH 6.5. The exposure to Cd resulted in edema, tubular vacuolization in epithelial cells, and hepatic duct degeneration in the hepatopancreas and indistinct cellular structure and disconnected epithelial layer in the gills. However, low pH alleviated the toxic effects of Cd on the tissues. In gill and hepatopancreas tissues, low pH and Cd exposure caused a significant increase in superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and oxidized glutathione content, but metallothionein activity was not affected. In contrast, the activity of glutathione-S-transferase decreased. Thus, indirect effects of pH on metal accumulation and antagonistic toxicities were observed in E. sinensis, and reduced pH and Cd exposure modulated the oxidative balance via different mechanisms.

Zhao X., Yang Z. & Cheng Y., in press. Effects of cadmium alone and in combination with pH on bioaccumulation, tissue structure, and enzyme activity of the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. Article (subscription required).

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