Considerable progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms of pollutant induced cell injury. This ranges from the direct action of pollutants, their activated metabolites or radicals on biological molecules such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), proteins or membrane components. Disturbances at the molecular and supramolecular (eg membranes) levels lead to organelle and cellular dysfunction and these in turn contribute to tissue and organ impairment and failure of the digestive and reproductive systems.
The findings presented in this report contribute to a mechanistic understanding of the processes of pollutant toxicity and cell injury in an important environmental sentinel organism, namely the marine mussel. Consequently, this enables us to interpret distress signals from these organisms in a more environmentally meaningful way and to start to direct our thinking towards the problems of causal mechanisms, thus strengthening the basis for the use of mussels as sentinels for biological impact.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts