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Bioaccumulation and biotransformation of 1-hydroxypyrene by the marine whelk Neptunea lyrata

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In the marine environment, organisms can be exposed to oxidised forms of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Bioaccumulation and biotransformation of these derivatives has rarely been investigated and would lead to a better understanding of the overall fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and that of other phenolic contaminants. The marine whelk Neptunea lyrata was exposed to 1-hydroxypyrene through its diet over 35 days. Extracts from the muscle and visceral mass of each animal were analysed by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The quantified compounds included 1-hydroxpyrene and the phase II metabolites pyrene sulphate, pyrene glucuronide and one isomer of pyrenediol disulphate. The hydroxylated hydrocarbon was highly retained with 78% of the exposure amount recovered primarily from the visceral mass of the whelks, while the muscle accounted for 4% of the body burden. Whelks efficiently biotransformed 1-hydroxypyrene with a mean of 81% of the compound detected as phase II metabolites. The novel biotransformation product, pyrenediol disulphate, accounted for the largest proportion of the 1-hydroxypyrene derivatives detected at body burdens below 200 ng. At higher body burdens, bioaccumulation increased. Control animals showed trace levels of pyrene derivatives with 76% represented by metabolites. This study highlights the importance of investigating the multiple fates of reactive chemicals in order to interpret exposure.
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Keywords: PAH; bioaccumulation; biotransformation; metabolite; pyrene; whelk

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ecosystem Research Division, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DartmouthNova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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