Environmental research

Modulation of metallothionein and metal partitioning in liver and kidney of Solea senegalensis after long-term acclimation to two environmental temperatures.

PMID 24813577


Juveniles of Solea senegalensis were fed with commercial pellets under controlled conditions at two environmental Mediterranean temperatures (15 and 20°C) for two months. After this period, the accumulation of essential and non-essential metals and metallothionein (MT) levels was measured in liver and kidney by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and pulse polarography, respectively. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for selected metals in both tissues was calculated in relation to levels present in the feed. Tissue partitioning (liver/kidney) and molar ratios, considering the metal protective mechanisms: MT and Selenium (Se), were included for evaluating the detoxification capacity of each tissue. Ag, Cd, Cu and Mn were preferentially accumulated in the liver whereas Co, Fe, Hg, Se and Zn were found in larger concentrations in the kidney, and higher temperature enhanced the accumulation of some of them, but not all. MT content in liver, but not in kidney, was also influenced by temperature changes and by length of exposure. The BAF revealed that Cu was taken up mainly by the liver whereas Se was efficiently taken up by both tissues. The high molar ratios of MT and most metals denoted the kidney's remarkable spare capacity for metal detoxification through MT binding. Moreover, the potential protective role of Se was also more evident in kidney as a higher Se:Cd and Se:Ag molar ratios were reached in this organ. In contrast to other fish, the storage of Cd in kidney was particularly low.