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Year: 2009  |  Volume: 14  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 539 - 546

Evaluation of phagocytic activity and nitric oxide generation by molluscan haemocytes as biomarkers of inorganic arsenic exposure

Sudipta Chakraborty, Mitali Ray and Sajal Ray    

Abstract: The natural habitats of the freshwater bivalve Lamellidens marginalis face the risk of contamination by the toxic metalloid arsenic. Haemocyte-mediated non-self phagocytosis and generation of nitric oxide (NO) as reactive nitrogen intermediate were examined to establish the reliability of the parameters as biomarkers of sodium arsenite-induced stress on the animal at sublethal concentrations. The studies suggest imposition of a remarkable immune compromise/immune suppression on the animal by the natural contaminant. The animal expressed partial recovery in its phagocytic potential and NO generation over a period of 30 days. Quantitation of phagocytic efficiency and intrahaemocyte NO generation indicates the possibility of the parameters be accepted as cellular biomarkers to estimate and characterize the vulnerability of the freshwater organisms to sodium arsenite-induced stress.

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