First experiments on the maternal transfer of metals in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis.

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Journal Article
Mar Pollut Bull, 2008, 57 (6-12), pp. 826 - 831
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The aim of this study was to provide a first insight on the incorporation of eight metals in the eggs of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis via maternal transfer, using radiotracer techniques ((110m)Ag, (241)Am, (109)Cd, (60)Co, (134)Cs, (54)Mn, (75)Se and (65)Zn). The cuttlefish was fed daily with radiolabelled crabs for two weeks; it then started to spawn every three days. Among the eight tracers, only (110m)Ag, (75)Se and (65)Zn were significantly transferred to the eggs. The radiotracer distribution among the egg compartments showed that (75)Se and (65)Zn were accumulated mainly in the vitellus whereas (110m)Ag was found in similar proportion in the vitellus and the eggshell. During the embryonic development, (75)Se and (65)Zn contained in the vitellus were progressively transferred to the embryo, likely to supply its metabolic needs in these essential elements. Although it has no known biological functions, Ag contained in both vitellus and eggshell was also transferred to the embryo. Overall, our results showed that transfer of Ag, Se, and Zn does actually occur from a female cuttlefish to its eggs, at least during the last two weeks before spawning.
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