Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 817–825 | Cite as

The effect of cadmium on antioxidant responses and the susceptibility to oxidative stress in the hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus

  • Rui Company
  • Angela Serafim
  • Richard Cosson
  • Lionel Camus
  • Bruce Shillito
  • Aline Fiala-Médioni
  • Maria João BebiannoEmail author
Research Article


Hydrothermal vents are a unique environment of extreme physical–chemical characteristics and biological species composition. Cd is a toxic non-essential metal present in high concentrations in the hydrothermal vent environment, contrary to those found in marine coastal areas. Cd toxicity has been related, among other things, with reactive oxygen species production, even though this is a non-redox metal. Bathymodiolus azoricus is a deep-sea Mytilid bivalve very common in the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) hydrothermal vent fields and very little is known about the antioxidant defence system in this specie. Because lethal Cd concentration in B. azoricus is unknown, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of a Cd concentration higher than that found in the hydrothermal vents on oxidative stress biomarkers, such as antioxidant enzymes. Mussels were exposed to 100 μg l−1 Cd during 24, 48 and 144 h, respectively, in a pressurized aquarium (IPOCAMP). Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidases (GPx), total oxyradical scavenging capacity (TOSC), metallothionein (MT) and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were measured in the gills and mantle of B. azoricus. The results indicate that gills are first affected by Cd toxicity. This may be due to different physiological functions of the tissues and by the presence of thio and methanotrophic symbiotic bacteria in the gills. The SOD and CAT are inhibited during the first day of exposure in the gills, although TOSC and MT concentrations were the same in control and exposed mussels. In the mantle, enzymatic activation only occurred after 6 days, and no significant differences in MT concentrations were found in the control and exposed mussels during the first day, as observed in the gills.


Digestive Gland Hydrothermal Vent Symbiotic Bacterium Total Oxyradical Scavenge Capacity Exposed Mussel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank P.M. Sarradin, chief scientist of ATOS cruise and D.R. Dixon, VENTOX project coordinator. The R.M. Company was financed by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (grant SFRH/BD/904/2000) of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Portugal. This work was mainly funded by the EU Framework 5 Programme, Contract No. EVK3-CT1999-00003 VENTOX) and additional funding was provided by the Norwegian Research Council under the program “Marine Resource, Environment and Management”, project No. 146478/120 and by the Norwegian marine research laboratory RF-Akvamiljø.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Company
    • 1
  • Angela Serafim
    • 1
  • Richard Cosson
    • 2
  • Lionel Camus
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bruce Shillito
    • 5
  • Aline Fiala-Médioni
    • 6
  • Maria João Bebianno
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CIMA, Faculty of Marine and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  2. 2.ISOMer—UPRES-EA 2663, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine, Faculté des Sciences et TechniquesUniversité de NantesNantesFrance
  3. 3.The University Centre on SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  4. 4.Akvamiljø asRandabergNorway
  5. 5.Equipe Adaptations et Evolution en Milieux ExtremesUPMC-CNRS UMR 7138ParisFrance
  6. 6.Observatoire OcéanologiqueUniversité P.M. CurieBanyuls sur MerFrance

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