Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 7627–7639 | Cite as

Genotoxic, cytotoxic, and neurotoxic responses in Anodonta cygnea after complex metal mixture treatment

  • Laura ButrimavičienėEmail author
  • Milda Stankevičiūtė
  • Virginija Kalcienė
  • Kęstutis Jokšas
  • Janina Baršienė
Research Article


Environmental effects associated with the release of various metals even at maximum permissible concentrations (MPC) to the aquatic ecosystems are evident. In the present work, time-dependent increase in accumulated metals amount in gills of Anodonta cygnea after exposure to complex metal (Zn 0.1, Cu 0.01, Ni 0.01, Cr 0.01, Pb 0.005, and Cd 0.005 mg/L, MPC accepted for the inland waters in EU) mixture at various time points (1, 2, 4, 7, 14, and 28 days) was investigated. Statistically significant increase of Cu and Cd was determined in mussel’s gills after 7-day exposure, in comparison to control group; moreover, significantly elevated concentration of Cu was measured and after 14-day treatment (in comparison to control and pre-exposure group). Concentrations of five (Cu, Ni, Cr, Pb, and Cd) out of 6 investigated metals were statistically increased in gills tissue after 28-day treatment. Moreover, complex metal mixture has demonstrated tissue- and time-dependent genotoxicity (∑Gentox) and cytotoxicity (∑Cytox) responses in mussels. After 4-day exposure, there were found the highest ∑Gentox levels in gills cells and haemocytes. Two-day treatment of mussels resulted in the highest and statistically significant induction of ∑Cytox level (in gills). Furthermore, after short-term (4 days) exposure, statistically significant inhibition of AChE activity in hemolymph of metal mixture–exposed mussels, in comparison to control and pre-exposure group, was found. Comparison of investigated responses in different tissue of A. cygnea discloses new information about metal mixture (at MPC) impacts at different treatment time. According to the obtained geno- and cytotoxicity data, it is suggested that gills are more sensitive tissue. Environmentally relevant trace metal concentrations when existing in mixture are able to cause adverse effects in A. cygnea; therefore, biological effects at different levels of organism are expected as a realistic scenario.


Trace metals Genotoxicity Cytotoxicity Anodonta cygnea AChE Accumulation 



We are thankful to Gerda Petkutė and Greta Ašmenaitė for the help during this experiment.

Funding information

This study was funded by the Research Council of Lithuania through the project ACTIS S-MIP-17-10.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Butrimavičienė
    • 1
    Email author
  • Milda Stankevičiūtė
    • 1
  • Virginija Kalcienė
    • 2
  • Kęstutis Jokšas
    • 1
    • 3
  • Janina Baršienė
    • 1
  1. 1.Nature Research CentreInstitute of EcologyVilniusLithuania
  2. 2.Life Sciences Center, Institute of BiosciencesVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.Faculty of Chemistry and GeosciencesVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania

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