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Arsenic compounds in the haemolymph of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, as determined by using HPLC on-line with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

TitleArsenic compounds in the haemolymph of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, as determined by using HPLC on-line with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsNorum, U, Lai, VWM, Pergantis, SA, Cullen, WR
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Volume7
Pagination122-126
Date PublishedFeb
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1464-0325
KeywordsANAEROBIC DECOMPOSITION, arsenobetaine, CADMIUM ACCUMULATION, CARCINUS-MAENAS, LIQUID-CHROMATOGRAPHY, MARINE-ENVIRONMENT, PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITION, SARGASSUM-LACERIFOLIUM, SHRIMP CRANGON-CRANGON, SPECIATION
Abstract

Arsenobetaine, two arsenosugars, dimethylarsinate and several unidentified arsenic species were detected in extracts of the haemolymph of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, by using HPLC-ICP-MS. This is the first report of the presence of arsenosugars in the haemolymph/blood of marine animals. Total, extractable and residual arsenic concentrations were determined by ICP-MS. The concentration of total arsenic was in the range of 1.4-3.8 mug ml(-1). Nearly all (98%) the arsenic was found to be extractable, and accounted for primarily by arsenobetaine, two arsenosugars and dimethylarsinate. The results demonstrate that arsenic compounds present in the diet of crabs are not fully metabolized in the gut. They are, at least partly, taken up into the haemolymph. The concurrence of arsenobetaine and arsenosugars suggests that the use of repeated haemolymph sampling in crustaceans could facilitate investigations into the kinetics of the biotransformation pathways of arsenic compounds. Finally, the present study clearly demonstrates the unique capabilities of HPLC-ICP-MS for the detection and identification of minor arsenic components amongst the predominant arsenobetaine.

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