Genotoxic, cytotoxic, developmental and survival effects of tritiated water in the early life stages of the marine mollusc, Mytilus edulis.Aquat Toxicol. 2005 Sep 10; 74(3):205-17.AT
Using an integrated approach linking different levels of biological organisation, the genotoxic, cytotoxic, developmental and survival impact of tritiated water (HTO) were investigated in the embryo-larvae of marine mollusc Mytilus edulis. One-hour-old embryos were exposed to a range of concentrations (0.37-370 kBq ml(-1)) of HTO, which delivered a dose between 0.02 and 21.41 mGy over the exposure period for different end points. Detrimental effects, if any, were monitored at different levels of biological organisation (i.e. DNA, chromosomal, cellular and individual). Genotoxic effects were assessed using molecular and cytogenetic approaches which included analysis of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), induction of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and chromosomal aberrations (Cabs). Cytotoxic effects were evaluated by determining the proliferative rate index (PRI) of the embryo-larval cells. Developmental and survival effects were also monitored every 24 h up to 72 h. Results in general indicated that HTO significantly increased cytogenetic damage, cytotoxicity, developmental abnormalities and mortality of the embryo-larvae as a function of concentration or radiation dose. The analysis of RAPD profiles also revealed qualitative effects in the HTO exposed population compared to controls. However, while the embryo-larvae showed dose or concentration dependent effects for mortality, developmental abnormalities and induction of SCEs, the dose-dependent effects were not apparent for Cabs and PRI at higher doses. The study contributes to our limited understanding of the impact of environmentally relevant radionuclides on non-human biota and emphasises the need for further investigations to elucidate potentially long term damage induced by persistent, low levels of other radionuclides on commercially and ecologically important species, in order to protect human and ecosystem health.