In vivo mercury (de)methylation metabolism in cephalopods under different pCO2 scenarios

This work quantified the accumulation efficiencies of Hg in cuttlefish, depending on both organic (MeHg) and inorganic (Hg(II)) forms, under increased pCO2 (1600 μatm). Cuttlefish were fed with live shrimps injected with two Hg stable isotopic tracers (Me202Hg and 199Hg(II)), which allowed for the simultaneous quantification of internal Hg accumulation, Hg(II) methylation, and MeHg demethylation rates in different organs. Results showed that pCO2 had no impact on Hg bioaccumulation and organotropism, and both Hg and pCO2 did not influence the microbiota diversity of gut and digestive gland. However, the results also demonstrated that the digestive gland is a key organ for in vivo MeHg demethylation. Consequently, cuttlefish exposed to environmental levels of MeHg could exhibit in vivo MeHg demethylation. We hypothesize that in vivo MeHg demethylation could be due to biologically induced reactions or to abiotic reactions. This has important implications as to how some marine organisms may respond to future ocean change and global mercury contamination.

Gentès S., Minet A., Lopes C., Tessier E., Gassie C., Guyoneaud R., Swarzenski P. W., Bustamante P., Metian M., Amouroux D. & Lacoue-Labarthe T., 2023. In vivo mercury (de)methylation metabolism in cephalopods under different pCO2 scenarios. Environmental Science & Technology 57(14): 5761–5770. Article.

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