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Specific Pathways of Dietary Methylmercury and Inorganic Mercury Determined by Mercury Speciation and Isotopic Composition in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Feng, Caiyan, Pedrero, Zoyne, Gentès, Sophie, Barre, Julien, Renedo, Marina, Tessier, Emmanuel, Berail, Sylvain, Maury-Brachet, Régine, Mesmer-Dudons, Nathalie, Baudrimont, Magalie, Legeay, Alexia, Maurice, Laurence, Gonzalez, Patrice, Amouroux, David
Environmental Science & Technology 2015 v.49 no.21 pp. 12984-12993
Danio rerio, bioaccumulation, biogeography, brain, diet, excretion, feces, fish, harvesting, isotope fractionation, liver, mercury, methylmercury compounds, models, muscles
An original approach is proposed to investigate inorganic (iHg) and methylmercury (MeHg) trophic transfer and fate in a model fish, Danio rerio, by combining natural isotopic fractionation and speciation. Animals were exposed to three different dietary conditions: (1) 50 ng Hg g–¹, 80% as MeHg; (2) diet enriched in MeHg 10 000 ng Hg g–¹, 95% as MeHg, and (3) diet enriched in iHg 10 000 ng Hg g–¹, 99% as iHg. Harvesting was carried out after 0, 7, 25, and 62 days. Time-dependent Hg species distribution and isotopic fractionation in fish organs (muscle, brain, liver) and feces, exhibited different patterns, as a consequence of their dissimilar metabolization. The rapid isotopic re-equilibration to the new MeHg-food source reflects its high bioaccumulation rate. Relevant aspects related to Hg excretion are also described. This study confirms Hg isotopic fractionation as a powerful tool to investigate biological processes, although its deconvolution and fully understanding is still a challenge.