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Mar Environ Res. 2000 Jul-Dec;50(1-5):33-8.

A survey of in vivo benzo[alpha]pyrene metabolism in small benthic marine invertebrates.

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  • 1Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA. amcelroy@notes.cc.sunysb.edu


A micro-extraction technique was used to examine in vivo polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolism in 10 small invertebrate species exposed to sediments amended with 3H-benzo[alpha]pyrene (BaP). Phyla examined included Mollusca (Hydrobia totteni, Ilyanassa obsoleta, Yoldia limatula, and Gemma gemma), Annelida (Nereis succinea, Pectinaria gouldii, Haploscolopolous sp., and Capitella sp. 1) and Arthropoda (Edotea triloba, and Gammarus mucronatus). Organisms were exposed to BaP-labeled sediments, harvested, and parent BaP separated from all polar metabolites by liquid extraction The percent of BaP-derived radio-activity present as polar metabolites ranged from 96% for N. succinea to 7% for P. gouldii. Wide ranges in metabolic capability were also observed between species in the other two phyla examined. Reverse-phase HPLC analysis of extracts of representative species from each phyla indicated that all these organisms form bay region metabolites, with two species forming the 7,8-dihydrodiol (N. succinea and G. mucronatus). In light of the high variability in metabolic capability observed within each phylum, species-specific information on metabolic ability should be obtained before assessing bioaccumulation, critical body burdens, or trophic transfer of PAHs in invertebrates.

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