Acute waterborne cadmium toxicity in the estuarine pulmonate mud snail, Amphibola crenata

Nuwan A.L. De Silva, Islay D. Marsden, Sally Gaw, Chris N. Glover

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Freshwater pulmonate snails are sensitive to trace metals, but to date, the sensitivity of estuarine pulmonate snails to these important environmental toxicants is undescribed. Using the estuarine mud snail Amphibola crenata, effects of a 48-h exposure to waterborne cadmium (Cd) were investigated. The 48-h median lethal concentration (LC50) was 50.4 mg L−1, a value higher than that previously reported for any gastropod mollusc. Cadmium levels in the tissues of mud snails were highest in the viscera (digestive gland and gonad), with the foot muscle and remaining tissue compartment (kidney, mantle, remaining digestive tissues and heart) displaying significantly lower concentrations. Over a Cd exposure concentration range of 0–32 mg L−1, Amphibola exhibited reduced oxygen consumption and elevated ammonia excretion in response to increasing Cd, the latter effect likely reflecting a switch to protein metabolism. This finding was supported by a declining oxygen: nitrogen ratio (O:N) as exposure Cd concentration increased. Other energy imbalances were noted, with a decrease in tissue glycogen (an effect strongly correlated with Cd burden in the viscera and foot muscle) and an elevated haemolymph glucose observed. An increase in catalase activity in the visceral tissues was recorded, suggestive of an effect of Cd on oxidative stress. The magnitude of this effect was correlated with tissue Cd burden. The induction of antioxidant defence mechanisms likely prevented an increase in levels of lipid peroxidation, which were unchanged relative to Cd exposure concentration in all measured tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-283
Number of pages10
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug. 2018


  • Bioenergetics
  • Cadmium
  • Gastropod
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein metabolism
  • Trace metal


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute waterborne cadmium toxicity in the estuarine pulmonate mud snail, Amphibola crenata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this