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Toxins 2018, 10(3), 106;

Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects on the Immune Cells of the Freshwater Bivalve Dreissena polymorpha Exposed to the Environmental Neurotoxin BMAA

Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne UMR-I 02 INERIS-URCA-ULH SEBIO Unité Stress Environnementaux et, BIOsurveillance des milieux aquatiques UFR Sciences Exactes et Naturelles, Campus du Moulin de la Housse, BP 1039 51687 Reims CEDEX, France
RIKILT, Wageningen Research, Akkermaalsbos 2, 6708 WB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
PDF [1830 KB, uploaded 13 March 2018]


The environmental neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been pointed out to be involved in human neurodegenerative diseases. This molecule is known to be bioaccumulated by bivalves. However, little data about its toxic effects on freshwater mussels is available, particularly on the hemolymphatic compartment and its hemocyte cells involved in various physiological processes such as immune defenses, digestion and excretion, tissue repair, and shell production. Here we exposed Dreissena polymorpha to dissolved BMAA, at the environmental concentration of 7.5 µg of /mussel/3 days, during 21 days followed by 14 days of depuration in clear water, with the objective of assessing the BMAA presence in the hemolymphatic compartment, as well as the impact of the hemocyte cells in terms of potential cytotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and genotoxiciy. Data showed that hemocytes were in contact with BMAA. The presence of BMAA in hemolymph did not induce significant effect on hemocytes phagocytosis activity. However, significant DNA damage on hemocytes occurred during the first week (days 3 and 8) of BMAA exposure, followed by an increase of hemocyte mortality after 2 weeks of exposure. Those effects might be an indirect consequence of the BMAA-induced oxidative stress in cells. However, DNA strand breaks and mortality did not persist during the entire exposure, despite the BMAA persistence in the hemolymph, suggesting potential induction of some DNA-repair mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: BMAA; hemocytes; genotoxicity; cytotoxicity; immunotoxicity; freshwater bivalves BMAA; hemocytes; genotoxicity; cytotoxicity; immunotoxicity; freshwater bivalves

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Lepoutre, A.; Milliote, N.; Bonnard, M.; Palos-Ladeiro, M.; Rioult, D.; Bonnard, I.; Bastien, F.; Faassen, E.; Geffard, A.; Lance, E. Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects on the Immune Cells of the Freshwater Bivalve Dreissena polymorpha Exposed to the Environmental Neurotoxin BMAA. Toxins 2018, 10, 106.

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