Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 340-366

First online:

Review on Methods for Determination of Metallothioneins in Aquatic Organisms

  • Fatemeh ShariatiAffiliated withDepartment of Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources, Islamic Azad University (Lahijan Branch) Email author 
  • , Shahab ShariatiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Islamic Azad University (Rasht Branch)

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One aspect of environmental degradation in coastal areas is pollution from toxic metals, which are persistent and are bioaccumulated by marine organisms, with serious public health implications. A conventional monitoring system of environmental metal pollution includes measuring the level of selected metals in the whole organism or in respective organs. However, measuring only the metal content in particular organs does not give information about its effect at the subcellular level. Therefore, the evaluation of biochemical biomarker metallothionein may be useful in assessing metal exposure and the prediction of potential detrimental effects induced by metal contamination. There are some methods for the determination of metallothioneins including spectrophotometric method, electrochemical methods, chromatography, saturation-based methods, immunological methods, electrophoresis, and RT-PCR. In this paper, different methods are discussed briefly and the comparison between them will be presented.


Toxic metal Pollution Aquatic organisms Biomarker Metallothionein