During ovary maturation of crabs, vitellogenin (Vg), a precursor molecule of vitellin (Vn) needed for embryogenesis, can be produced in large quantities in the hepatopancreas and then transported to the ovary by the hemolymph. In the present study, effects of Cd on Vg accumulation in the hepatopancreas and Vg transportation of the freshwater crab Sinopotamon henanense were investigated. We also studied the impacts of Cd on the mRNA expression of genes involved in energy metabolism, protein metabolism, and metallothionein (MT) and glutathione (GSH) synthesis. After Cd treatment, the Vg concentration and the Vg mRNA expression in the hepatopancreas were downregulated. Pearson’s correlation coefficient showed that the Vg level in the hepatopancreas correlated positively with those of the ovary and hemolymph (correlation coefficients 0.844 and 0.749, respectively), suggesting that the Vg transport from the hepatopancreas to the ovary can be impaired by Cd. The levels of carbohydrate and protein in the hepatopancreas of Cd-exposed crabs were decreased, and an inhibited protein metabolism was also observed. Energy production related isocitrate dehydrogenase and cytochrome C oxidase mRNA expressions, and MT and GSH synthesis increased after 10 days of Cd treatment and decreased after 20 days. Cd also caused a time-dependent upregulation of malondialdehyde. Our findings showed that Cd decreased Vg accumulation in the hepatopancreas due to partially excessive energy consumption and an activated defense system in the hepatopancreas, suggesting a possible regulatory mechanism in S. henanense which is the competitive advantage of energy reserves in metabolic Cd stress responses over the high-energy flux during vitellogenesis to ensure a continuous supply of metabolic energy. Moreover, the damage of Vg accumulation in the hepatopancreas caused by Cd could lead to an insufficient accumulation of Vn in the ovary and cause a retardation of oocyte development.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 20, 2017
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