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Title: Development of histopathological indices in the digestive gland and gonad of mussels: Integration with contamination levels and effects of confounding factors
Authors: Cuevas, Nagore; Zorita, Izaskun; Costa, Pedro M.; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana
Citation: AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY, 2015, 162, 152-164
Abstract: Bivalve histopathology has become an important tool in aquatic toxicology, having been implemented in many biomonitoring programmes worldwide. However, there are various gaps in the knowledge of many sentinel organisms and the interference of confounding factors. This work aimed (i) to develop a detailed semi-quantitative histopathological index of the digestive gland and gonad of the Mytilus galloprovincialis mussel collected from five sites contaminated with distinct patterns of organic and inorganic toxicants along the Basque coast (SE Bay of Biscay) and (ii) to investigate whether seasonal variability and parasitosis act as confounding factors. A total of twenty-three histopathological alterations were analysed in the digestive gland and gonad following a weighed condition index approach. The alterations were integrated into a single value for a better understanding of the mussels' health status. The digestive gland was consistently more damaged than the gonad. Mussels from the most impacted sites endured the most significant deleterious effects showing inflammation-related alterations together with digestive tubule atrophy and necrosis. Neoplastic diseases were scarce, with only a few cases of fibromas (benign neoplasia). In contrast, in moderately or little impacted sites, contamination levels did not cause significant tissue damage. However, parasites contributed to overestimating the values of histopathological indices (i.e. more severe tissue damage) in mussels from little impacted sites, whilst the opposite occurred in mussels from highly polluted sites. Accordingly, inter-site differences were more pronounced in autumn when natural physiological responses of advanced maturation stages did not interfere in the histological response. In conclusion, although seasonal variability and parasitosis mask the response of histopathological indices, this biomonitoring approach may provide good sensitivity for assessing the health status of mussels if fluctuations of these confounding factors are considered. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Issue Date: 2015
Type: Article
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.03.011
ISSN: 0166-445X
E-ISSN: 1879-1514
Funder: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the FISHEALTH project \[CTM2012-40203-C02-02]
Inaki Goenaga - Technology Centres Foundation
Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) \[SFRH/BPD/72564/2010]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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