Fertilization and larval development in sea urchins following exposure of gametes and embryos to cadmium
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- Pagano, G., Esposito, A. & Giordano, G.G. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1982) 11: 47. doi:10.1007/BF01055185
The gametes and embryos of three sea urchin species were exposed to cadmium chloride at concentrations ranging from 10−8 M to 10−3 M. When zygotes were reared in the presence of Cd2+, skeletal differentiation displayed some severe abnormalities or was suppressed, as a function of Cd2+ level. The embryotoxic action of Cd2+ was inversely related to salinity and to Ca2+ concentration. Cadmium-exposed larvae displayed similar abnormalities if Cd2+ was present throughout development or only after hatching, while pre-hatching exposure produced no developmental defects. No aberrations in mitotic figures were observed in cleaving eggs following acute exposure to Cd2+. The pretreatment of sperm or eggs did not affect the ensuing development of embryos, both for acutely toxic Cd2+ levels (up to 10−2M), and for prolonged exposures in relatively low Cd2+ levels. The fertilization rate was differently affected depending on whether sperm or eggs were pretreated;i.e., the exposure of eggs to Cd2+ promoted fertilization at relatively high Cd2+ levels. If sperm was exposed to Cd2+, a depression of fertilizing capacity was observed at high Cd2+ levels, while lower Cd2+ levels, displayed an opposite action, resulting in an increase in fertilization rate after prolonged sperm exposure.