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Modulation of metallothionein, pi-GST and Se-GPx mRNA expression in the freshwater bivalve Dreissena polymorpha transplanted into polluted areas

1 Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Institut Charles Viollette, Equipe Biochimie des Produits Aquatiques (BPA), Boulevard du Bassin Napoléon, 62327 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France;
2 Universitéde Lorraine, UMR CNRS 7360 : Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Environnements Continentaux (LIEC), Rue Delestraint, 57070 Metz, France

Glutathione S-transferases (GST), glutathione peroxidases (GPx) and metallothioneins (MT) are essential components of cellular detoxication systems. We studied the expression of pi-GST, Se-GPx, and MT transcripts in the digestive gland of Dreissena polymorpha exposed to organic and metallic pollutants. Mussels from a control site were transplanted during 3, 15 and 30 days into the Moselle River, upstream and downstream to the confluence with the Fensch River, a tributary highly polluted by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Se-GPx and pi-GST mRNA expression increased in mussels transplanted into the upstream site, Se-GPx response being the earliest. These genes were also induced after 3-days exposure at the downstream site. These inductions suggest an adaptative response to an alteration of the environment. Moreover, at this site, a significant decrease of the expression of MT, pi-GST and Se-GPx transcripts was observed after 30 days which could correspond to an inefficiency of detoxification mecanisms. The results are in correlation with the levels of pollutants in the sediments and their bioaccumulation in mussels, they confirm the environmental deleterious impact of the pollutants carried by the Fensch River.
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