TitleDifferential accumulation of cadmium and changes in glutathione levels as a function of symbiotic state in the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMitchelmore, CL, Ringwood, AH, Weis, VM
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Coastal ecosystems are increasingly impacted by anthropogenic activities and contaminant inputs, including heavy metals. This paper investigates the responses to laboratory cadmium exposures in the North American Pacific coast temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima. Anemones were exposed to cadmium chloride (control, 20 and 100 mug l(-1) Cd) for 14 days (sampled at days 0, 2, 7 and 14) and analyzed for Cd content using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Higher levels of Cd were demonstrated in symbiotic anemones compared to symbiont-free (aposymbiotic) anemones (e.g. 100 mug l(-1) Cd exposure at day 14; 12.4 +/- 2.4 and 4.5 +/- 1.9 ng Cd mg(-1) dry weight, respectively; t-test; p0.05) but rather to increased accumulation by both partners. No changes in algal cell density were observed in symbiotic anemone tentacle clips at any dose or time point (ANOVA; p>0.05). Changes in glutathione (GSH) levels have been proposed as a useful biomarker in other marine invertebrates in response to heavy metal stress, but GSH studies have not been reported for this species. We demonstrate the presence of GSH in A. elegantissima and its depletion (58.2% of control values) following 1-week exposure to buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a nontoxic chemical known to deplete GSH. Levels of GSH were higher in symbiotic compared to aposymbiotic anemones (control averages, 563 +/- 81 and 485 +/- 58 nmol GSH mg(-1) wet weight, respectively; t-test; p

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