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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1815; doi:10.3390/ijms18081815

Successive Onset of Molecular, Cellular and Tissue-Specific Responses in Midgut Gland of Littorina littorea Exposed to Sub-Lethal Cadmium Concentrations

1
CBET Research Group, Research Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PiE-UPV/EHU), University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Areatza Pasalekua, 48620 Plentzia-Bizkaia, Basque Country, Spain
2
Institute of Zoology and Center of Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 25, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
These authors contributed equally to this study.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Metabolism in Animals II)
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Abstract

Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most harmful metals, being toxic to most animal species, including marine invertebrates. Among marine gastropods, the periwinkle (Littorina littorea) in particular can accumulate high amounts of Cd in its midgut gland. In this organ, the metal can elicit extensive cytological and tissue-specific alterations that may reach, depending on the intensity of Cd exposure, from reversible lesions to pathological cellular disruptions. At the same time, Littorina littorea expresses a Cd-specific metallothionein (MT) that, due to its molecular features, expectedly exerts a protective function against the adverse intracellular effects of this metal. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to assess the time course of MT induction in the periwinkle’s midgut gland on the one hand, and cellular and tissue-specific alterations in the digestive organ complex (midgut gland and digestive tract) on the other, upon exposure to sub-lethal Cd concentrations (0.25 and 1 mg Cd/L) over 21 days. Depending on the Cd concentrations applied, the beginning of alterations of the assessed parameters followed distinct concentration-dependent and time-dependent patterns, where the timeframe for the onset of the different response reactions became narrower at higher Cd concentrations compared to lower exposure concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Littorina littorea; metallothionein induction; midgut gland tubules; digestive cells; basophilic cells; connective tissue calcium cells; lysosomes; lipofuscin Littorina littorea; metallothionein induction; midgut gland tubules; digestive cells; basophilic cells; connective tissue calcium cells; lysosomes; lipofuscin
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Benito, D.; Niederwanger, M.; Izagirre, U.; Dallinger, R.; Soto, M. Successive Onset of Molecular, Cellular and Tissue-Specific Responses in Midgut Gland of Littorina littorea Exposed to Sub-Lethal Cadmium Concentrations. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1815.

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