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Use of carbonyl iron to induce iron loading in the musselMytilus edulis

Bootsma, N., Macey, D.J., Webb, J. and Talbot, V. (1990) Use of carbonyl iron to induce iron loading in the musselMytilus edulis. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 44 (2). pp. 205-209.

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It now recognized that in organisms such as marine mussels, the prior presence of one metal can be important in determining the ultimate toxicological response to a second challenge by a different metal species Cunningham 1979; Elliott et al. 1986). Thus, for example, the presence of iron in the mussels Mytilus edulis profoundly affects the subsequent accumulation of zinc while iron in the oyster Saccostrea cuccullata affects the mechanism of zinc storage (Lobel 1981; Webb et al. 1985). To determine these synergistic (or indeed antagonistic) effects in an organism such as the mussel, it is important to be able to both load the animal rapidly, and ensure that the metal ends up in a form that is ultimately the same as that found in the animal in the natural environment. Unfortunately, considerable problems have arisen with the form in which iron has been loaded into mussels. For example, while soluble iron (III) chloride has been used to induce iron loading in mussels (e.g. Hobden 1969, Pentreath 1973), this iron compound in seawater is rapidly converted to iron(III) hydroxide which precipitates, leading to uncertainties in the actual dosage received by the animals. Other studies on mussels have used iron (III) hydroxide as the medium of iron delivery, even though the bioavailability of iron in this form is limited (George et al. 1976). Others have used soluble iron complexes (George and Coombs 1977). Recently, Bacon et al. (1983) have successfully used carbonyl iron to induce iron loading in rats. This form of iron is prepared by reacting elemental iron at high temperatures with carbon monoxide to form iron pentacarbonyl which, on further heating, deposits relatively pure metallic iron as microscopic spheres less than 5 µm in diameter (Figure 1). Carbonyl iron was readily accepted by rats when mixed with food and produced iron loading in a relatively short period of time when compared with other methods.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: (c) Springer Verlag
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