An Immunohistochemical and Ultrastructural Study of the Heavy Metals accumulated in the Kidney of an Antarctic Clam, Laternula elliptica
Yong-Seok Lee, In-Young Ahn, Wan-Jong Kim and Kye-Heon Jeong
Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, 336-745, Korea
The kidney of bivalve mollusks often contains remarkably high concentrations of both essential and non-essential metals and perform regulating and detoxicating activities. The kidney has also been proposed as a biological indicator for radioactive as well as for stable metals in the sea. The present study of the Antarctic clam, Laternula elliptica, concerns the functional morphology of the kidney epithelium, which contains highly accumulated heavy metals. The immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study was undertaken in order to find out the localization of metallothionein and heavy metals accumulated in the kidney of Laternula elliptica. In the immunohistochemical investigation, an intense metallothionein immunostaining reaction was found in the epithelial cells of the kidney of Laternula elliptica. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the epithelial cells contained numerous electron-dense inclusion bodies which were considered to be accumulated heavy metals.
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