Toxicokinetics of waterborne trivalent arsenic in the freshwater bivalve corbicula fluminea

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Arsenite (AsIII) uptake and elimination kinetics were studied in a freshwater bivalve, Corbicula fluminea, exposed to several nominal concentrations of AsIII (0, 100, 300, 500, and 1000 μg L -1) in a static 28-day assay, followed by a depuration stage of 14 days. At the end of each sampling time (days 0, 7, 28, and 42) whole-body portions were surveyed for total As concentrations and, complimentarily, surveyed for whole-body metallothionein (MT) induction to assess its role as a defense mechanism against exposure to AsIII. Histochemical evaluation of the digestive gland was performed to verify As deposition and elimination in the tissue. Results show a significant increase in whole-body total As after 28 days of exposure for all treatments, followed by a decrease at the end of the depuration phase. Biodynamic kinetic models for As uptake and elimination were obtained from bioaccumulation data during the exposure phase, for all As treatments, by estimating uptake and elimination rate constants. Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) were estimated by the ratio of these constants. Results revealed that exposure to higher concentrations of AsIII causes a decrease in BCFs, suggesting that C. fluminea triggers effective regulatory mechanisms when exposed to higher concentrations of the metalloid. Significant induction of MT was detected during the exposure phase, followed by a decrease in MT concentration to control levels after depuration for all treatments. No significant differences in MT concentrations were observed between treatments. This finding may confirm the role of MT as part of the As regulation process, but its independence relative to concentrations of As III in water suggests that MT induction is not dose dependent. The histochemical evaluation provided clear evidence that As was effectively accumulated in the digestive gland during exposure and eliminated during depuration. The present work demonstrated that C. fluminea is capable of regulating As, even at exposures as high as 1000 μg L-1 of waterborne AsIII. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • arsenic
  • fresh water
  • metallothionein
  • arsenite
  • bivalve
  • coccolith
  • concentration (composition)
  • defense mechanism
  • dose-response relationship
  • modeling
  • pollution exposure
  • toxicity
  • article
  • bioaccumulation
  • concentration (parameters)
  • Corbicula
  • Corbicula fluminea
  • environmental exposure
  • exocrine gland
  • freshwater environment
  • histochemistry
  • nonhuman
  • priority journal
  • regulatory mechanism
  • toxicokinetics
  • water pollution
  • water sampling
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Arsenicals
  • Digestive System
  • Fresh Water
  • Metallothionein
  • Models, Biological
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Bivalvia


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