MEPS 231:167-177 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/meps231167

Biokinetics of zinc and cadmium accumulation and depuration at different stages in the life cycle of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis

Paco Bustamante1,*, Jean-Louis Teyssié2, Scott W. Fowler2, Olivier Cotret2, Bruno Danis3, Pierre Miramand1, Michel Warnau3,**

1Laboratoire de Biologie et d'Environnement Marins, UPRES-EA 3168, Université de La Rochelle, 22 Avenue Michel Crépeau, 17042 La Rochelle, France
2Marine Environment Laboratory, International Atomic Energy Agency, 4 Quai Antoine Ier, PO Box 800, 98012 Monaco
3Laboratoire de Biologie Marine (CP 160-15), Université Libre de Bruxelles, 50 Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
*E-mail: **Present address: International Atomic Energy Agency ‹Marine Environment Laboratory, 4 Quai Antoine Ier, PO Box 800, 98012 Monaco

ABSTRACT: Bioaccumulation of 65Zn and 109Cd by the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis L. was studied at different stages of its life cycle, i.e. in embryos, juveniles and adults, following exposures via sea water, sediments and food. Cuttlefish eggs efficiently accumulated both elements from seawater with bioconcentration factors of 79 for 65Zn and 46 for 109Cd after 11 d exposure. Most of the radiotracers were found in the capsule membrane of the eggs, demonstrating that the capsule acts as a shield to protect embryos against metals. Juveniles and adults efficiently bioconcentrated both radiotracers from seawater, with the muscular tissues containing 84% of the total 65Zn and 62% of the total 109Cd. Loss kinetics followed a single exponential function for 65Zn, while for 109Cd loss was best described by a double exponential model. Biological half-lives for elimination were ca. 2 mo for both elements. After 29 d depuration in uncontaminated seawater, 76 to 87% of the radiotracers were found in the digestive gland. For both elements, the dissolved phase can be considered as a significant source of accumulation. In an experiment with radiolabelled sediments, transfer factors were very low, even after 29 d exposure. Food-chain transfer experiments demonstrated that both juveniles and adults assimilated 65Zn and 109Cd very efficiently. Moreover, loss of ingested radiotracers was much slower than elimination of 65Zn and 109Cd taken up from seawater, indicating a very strong retention of dietary Cd and Zn by juvenile as well as by adult cuttlefish. As with direct uptake from seawater, ingested radiotracers were mainly found in the digestive gland, with fractions reaching 82% for 65Zn and 97% for 109Cd after 29 d depuration. These tracer experiments indicate that (1) food is the likely primary pathway for Zn and Cd bioaccumulation in S. officinalis, and (2) the digestive gland plays a major role in the subsequent storage and presumed detoxification of these elements regardless of the uptake pathway.

KEY WORDS: Zinc · Cadmium · Bioaccumulation · Depuration · Cephalopods · Sepia officinalis · Radiotracers

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