Pre-exposure to Cadmium or Zinc Alters the Heart Rate Response of the Crayfish Procambarus clarkii Towards Copper



Exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of a pollutant induces, in some organisms, an acclimation process which increases their resistance to other substances (cross-acclimation). Understanding this phenomenon is important as a basis for a better comprehension of the effects of pollutants in ecosystems. In this paper we investigated whether the exposure to Cd or Zn is able to modify the heart rate response of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii to acute Cu stress. A first set of experiments provided the basis to understand heart rate changes induced by varying Cd or Zn concentrations. In a second set of experiments crayfish were acclimated for 96 h to control water, Cd or Zn enriched water, and then exposed to a 10 mg L−1 Cu solution, known to induce bradycardia in this species. Bradycardia was suppressed in specimens previously exposed to Cd or Zn but not in those exposed to clean water, providing a clear evidence of a cross-acclimation in the heart rate response of P. clarkii.


Heart rate Crayfish Heavy metals Pre-exposure Cross-acclimation 



The study was supported by a grant from the University of Florence to GC. Comments from two referees and Senior Editor greatly improved the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

All applicable national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of FlorenceSesto FiorentinoItaly

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