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Distribution of heavy metals in Penaeus Semisulcatus from Persian Gulf and possible role of metallothionein in their redistribution during storage

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The study was conducted between January and December 2002. The main objective of this study was evaluation of effects of refrigerated storage duration on redistribution of three trace elements (Cd, Cu and Zn) in tissues (exoskeleton, abdominal muscle and hepatopancreas) of a shrimp species (Penaeus semisulcatus). Moreover, the possible roles of metallothionein (a kind of metalloprotein) in redistribution of the elements in tissues of the selected species were assessed. The specimens were sampled from northwestern part of the Persian Gulf. The concentrations of metals in the tissues were measured using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrophotometer (ICP-OES). Metallothionein levels were determined by Differential Pulse Polarography (DPP) method. pH of the muscle samples was also measured in different stages. Different statistical methods were used for interpretation of the results. There were no size-dependent differences in metal contents of the species. The results were compared with specimens from other areas of the world and existing guidelines and limits. Concentrations of the metals in the muscle (0.103, 3.418 and 8.977 µg g–1 wet weight in the case of Cd, Cu and Zn, respectively) samples were below the most guidelines for human consumption. The results were in general agreement with those obtained by some other researchers. There were highly significant differences between sexes in Zn and Cu contents. Levels of Zn in females were significantly higher than males. The reverse case observed for Cu. The highest mean Cu and Zn concentrations (15.939 and 43.394 µg g–1 wet weight, respectively) were found in hepatopancreas samples, but the highest level of Cd (0.790 µg g–1 wet weight) was observed in exoskeleton. There were significant differences between the fresh and refrigerated samples from accumulation of Cd and Zn in tissues point of view, which can be attributed to the metal binding properties of metallothioneins as well as their degradation during the storage.

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