MEPS 269:185-195 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps269185

Uptake, transfer and distribution of silver and cobalt in tissues of the common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis at different stages of its life cycle

P. Bustamante1,*, J.-L. Teyssié2, B. Danis3, S. W. Fowler2, P. Miramand1, O. Cotret2, M. Warnau2

1Laboratoire de Biologie et Environnement Marins, FRE 2727 du CNRS, Université de La Rochelle, 22, Avenue Michel Crépeau, 17042 La Rochelle, France
2Marine Environment Laboratory, International Atomic Energy Agency, 4 Quai Antoine I er, 98000, Monaco
3Laboratoire de Biologie Marine, CP 160-15, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 50 Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium

ABSTRACT: Three pathways of exposure (sediment, seawater and food) were examined to determine transfer of 110mAg and 57Co in juvenile cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. Additional experiments were conducted on adult cuttlefish and their eggs/embryos in order to assess bioaccumulation patterns at different stages of the organism¹s life cycle. Eggs, juveniles and adults readily accumulated both Ag and Co from seawater. In eggs, both metals were predominantly adsorbed onto the capsule membrane (≥60% for Ag and ≥99% for Co), indicating that the latter may act as an effective shield to limit exposure of embryos to soluble metals. Adult cuttlefish incorporated waterborne radiotracers mainly in their muscular tissues (≥60% of the whole-body burden); subsequent metal retention was greater for Co (biological half-life, Tb! = 34 d) than for Ag (Tb! = 7 d). Turnover of Co ingested with food was much more rapid in juveniles (Tb! = 5 d) than in adults (Tb! = 990 d), suggesting that the functional maturation of the digestive gland was not complete in the juveniles. With ingested Ag, retention was roughly similar for juveniles and adults (Tb! = 13 and 9 d, respectively). Transfer from sediments was negligible for Co and Ag. Regardless of the exposure pathway, the digestive gland of juveniles and adults contained the major fraction of incorporated metal either following uptake or after depuration. This observation demonstrates that substantial metal transfer takes place from several organs to the digestive gland, and further highlights the major role this organ plays in metal storage and detoxification processes in these cephalopods.

KEY WORDS: Metal · Radiotracer · Bioaccumulation · Digestive gland · Cephalopods

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