Mechanisms of waterborne Cu toxicity to the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis: Physiology and Cu bioavailability

Tania Y.T. Ng, Nish M. Pais, Chris M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We examined the mechanisms of toxicity of waterborne Cu to the freshwater pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The snail is one of the most sensitive species to acute Cu exposure (96h LC50, LC20: 24.9, 18.0γgl-1); they are not protected by the water quality criteria of the US EPA. Tissue Na and Ca were also reduced by Cu in the acute exposure. In contrast, during 28d chronic exposures to Cu in the presence of food, which resulted in higher DOC concentrations, there was no significant mortality but an inhibition of growth, which may reflect a re-allocation of resources to detoxification. Cu detoxification was evidenced in chronic exposure by increases in metallothionein-like protein concentrations and Cu binding to metal-rich granules, decreases in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, and changes in the subcellular distribution in the soft tissues. Our results demonstrated that apart from external Cu bioavailability, compartmentalization of metals within the cells can alter toxicity of Cu to the snails.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1471-1479
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Bioavailability
  • Cu
  • Detoxification
  • Growth
  • Ionoregulation
  • Pond snail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution


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