Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 16, pp 15962–15970 | Cite as

Evaluation of iron loading in four types of hepatopancreatic cells of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus using ferrocene derivatives and iron supplements

  • Hector Aguilar Vitorino
  • Priscila Ortega
  • Roxana Y. Pastrana Alta
  • Flavia Pinheiro Zanotto
  • Breno Pannia Espósito
Research Article


The mangrove crab Ucides cordatus is a bioindicator of aquatic contamination. In this work, the iron availability and redox activity of saccharide-coated mineral iron supplements (for both human and veterinary use) and ferrocene derivatives in Saline Ucides Buffer (SUB) medium were assessed. The transport of these metallodrugs by four different hepatopancreatic cell types (embryonic (E), resorptive (R), fibrillar (F), and blister (B)) of U. cordatus were measured. Organic coated iron minerals (iron supplements) were stable against strong chelators (calcein and transferrin). Ascorbic acid efficiently mediated the release of iron only from ferrocene compounds, leading to redox-active species. Ferrous iron and iron supplements were efficient in loading iron to all hepatopancreatic cell types. In contrast, ferrocene derivatives were loaded only in F and B cell types. Acute exposition to the iron compounds resulted in cell viability of 70–95%, and to intracellular iron levels as high as 0.40 μmol L−1 depending upon the compound and the cell line. The easiness that iron from iron metallodrugs was loaded/transported into U. cordatus hepatopancreatic cells reinforces a cautionary approach to the widespread disposal and use of highly bioavailable iron species as far as the long-term environmental welfare is concerned.


Iron Ucides cordatus Fluorescence Hepatopancreas Mangrove crab 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


The authors acknowledge the funding provided through the CAPES and FAPESP (Brazilian government agencies). H.A.V. and P.O. received a Doctoral Fellowship from CAPES.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hector Aguilar Vitorino
    • 1
  • Priscila Ortega
    • 2
  • Roxana Y. Pastrana Alta
    • 1
  • Flavia Pinheiro Zanotto
    • 2
  • Breno Pannia Espósito
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fundamental Chemistry, Institute of ChemistryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Biosciences InstituteUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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