skip to main content

Title: Mercury-pollution induction of intracellular lipid accumulation and lysosomal compartment amplification in the benthic foraminifer Ammonia parkinsoniana

In this study, heavy metals such as mercury (Hg) pose a significant health hazard through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. By penetrating cell membranes, heavy metal ions may lead to pathological conditions. Here we examined the responses of Ammonia parkinsoniana, a benthic foraminiferan, to different concentrations of Hg in the artificial sea water. Confocal images of untreated and treated specimens using fluorescent probes (Nile Red and Acridine Orange) provided an opportunity for visualizing the intracellular lipid accumulation and acidic compartment regulation. With increased Hg over time, we observed an increased number of lipid droplets, which may have acted as a detoxifying organelle where Hg is sequestered and biologically inactivated. Further, Hg seems to promote the proliferation of lysosomes both in terms of number and dimension that, at the highest level of Hg, resulted in cell death. We report, for the first time, the presence of Hg within the foraminiferal cell: at the basal part of pores, in the organic linings of the foramen/septa, and as cytoplasmic accumulations.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4]
  1. Urbino Univ., Urbino (Italy)
  2. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; foraminifera; lipid; lysosome; mercury; Hg-pollution; cytoplasm; pollutants; vesicles; sea water; scanning electron microscopy; heavy metals