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Environ Pollut. 2004 Nov;132(2):265-77.

Modification of trace metal accumulation in the green mussel Perna viridis by exposure to Ag, Cu, and Zn.

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Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


To examine the Cd, Hg, Ag, and Zn accumulation in the green mussel Perna viridis affected by previous exposure to Cu, Ag, or Zn, the dietary metal assimilation efficiency (AE) and the uptake rate from the dissolved phase were quantified. The mussel's filtration rate, metallothionein (MT) concentration, and metal tissue burden as well as the metal subcellular partitioning were also determined to illustrate the potential mechanisms underlying the influences caused by one metal pre-exposure on the bioaccumulation of the other metals. The green mussels were pre-exposed to Cu, Ag, or Zn for different periods (1-5 weeks) and the bioaccumulation of Cd, Hg, Ag, and Zn were concurrently determined. Pre-exposure to the three metals did not result in any significant increase in MT concentration in the green mussels. Ag concentration in the insoluble fraction increased with increasing Ag exposure period and Ag ambient concentration. Our data indicated that Cd assimilation were not influenced by the mussel's pre-exposure to the three metals (Cu, Ag, and Zn), but its dissolved uptake was depressed by Ag and Zn exposure. Although Hg assimilation from food was not affected by the metal pre-exposure, its influx rate from solution was generally inhibited by the exposure to Cu, Ag, and Zn. Ag bioaccumulation was affected the most obviously, in which its AE increased with increasing Ag tissue concentration, and its dissolved uptake decreased with increasing tissue concentrations of Ag and Cu. As an essential metal, Zn bioaccumulation remained relatively stable following the metal pre-exposure, suggesting the regulatory ability of Zn uptake in the mussels. Zn AE was not affected by metal pre-exposure, but its dissolved uptake was depressed by Ag and Zn pre-exposure. All these results indicated that the influences of one metal pre-exposure on the bioaccumulation of other metals were metal-specific due to the differential binding and toxicity of metals to the mussels. Such factors should be considered in using metal concentrations in mussel's soft tissues to evaluate the metal pollution in coastal waters.

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