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Motoric impairment following manganese exposure in asteroide chinoderms

Journal article
Authors Helen Nilsson Sköld
Susanne P. Baden
Jakob Looström
Susanne P. Eriksson
Bodil Hernroth
Published in Aquatic Toxicology
Volume 167
Pages 31-37
ISSN 0166-445X
Publication year 2015
Published at The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 31-37
Language en
Keywords Asterias rubens, Ophiocomina nigra, Turning assay, Neuromuscular behaviour, Acetylcholinesterase, Manganese exposure
Subject categories Animal physiology


In the oceans, naturally occurring manganese (Mn) is released from the sediments during events of hypoxia. While neuro- and immuno-toxic effects of bioavailable manganese are well documented for crustaceans, studies of similar effects of manganese on other marine invertebrates are comparatively few. Here, we developed a new functional test “the repeated turning assay” to investigate if manganese exposure at ∼12 mg L−1 affected motoric behaviour of two asteroid echinoderms, the Common sea star, Asterias rubens, and the Black brittle star, Ophiocomina nigra. By measuring of the turning-over capacity, from dorsal to ventral position, after one and two weeks of manganese exposure, we showed that for both species Mn exposure significantly delayed the ability to turn. After a recovery period of two weeks, the capacity of turning-over was not restored to that of unexposed animals neither for A. rubens nor for O. nigra. Further investigation of sea stars showed that Mn accumulated ∼5 fold in the tube feet, organs involved in their turning-over activity, and the high concentration remained after the recovery period. In the tube feet we also recorded an increased activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), here used as a proxy for neuromuscular disturbances. The results indicated that Mn induces neuromuscular disturbance in echinoderms which is important news, given that previous studies have concluded that adult echinoderms are relatively tolerant to Mn.

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