MEPS 253:155-163 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps253155

Delineation of PCB uptake pathways in a benthic sea star using a radiolabelled congener

B. Danis1,*, O. Cotret2, J. L. Teyssié2, S. W. Fowler2, P. Bustamante3, M. Warnau2

1Laboratoire de Biologie Marine (CP 160/15), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue F. D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2International Atomic Energy Agency, Marine Environment Laboratory, 4 Quai Antoine Ier, BP 800, 98012 Monaco
3Laboratoire de Biologie et d¹Environnement Marins, UPRES-EA 3168, Université de La Rochelle, 22 Avenue Michel Crépeau, 17042 La Rochelle, France

ABSTRACT: Asterias rubens (Linnaeus, 1758), a common sea star in North Sea waters, was selected to study the bioaccumulation of an important polychlorinated biphenyl congener, 14C-labelled PCB#153, from 2 contrasting sources: seawater and sediments. After 4 wk acclimation to laboratory conditions, sea stars were exposed for 34 d to realistic concentrations (30 ng l-1 in seawater and 9.5 ng g-1 dry wt in sediments) of the contaminant during which time bioaccumulation of PCB#153 was followed in 6 body compartments. The results showed that (1) for each body compartment, PCB uptake kinetics were generally asymptotic and bioaccumulation was far greater when A. rubens was exposed via seawater than via sediments; (2) body wall and podia were the body compartments showing the greatest affinity for the PCB congener, making them ideal tissues for biomonitoring purposes; (3) the concentrations reached in body compartments were within the range of values reported in several field studies. Because radioisotopic techniques are extremely sensitive, they allow key organs that are sometimes too small for standard analysis of PCBs to be taken into account.

KEY WORDS: Polychlorinated biphenyls · PCB#153 · Bioaccumulation · Kinetics · Asterias rubens · Echinoderm

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