Field validation of antioxidant enzyme biomarkers in mussels (Perna viridis) and clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) transplanted in Hong Kong coastal waters

Sharon B. De Luca-Abbott, Bruce J. Richardson*, Katherine E. McClellan, Gene J. Zheng, Michael Martin, Paul K S Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Green-lipped mussels, Perna viridis, and Manila clams, Ruditapes philippinarum were sourced from "clean" sites in the Hong Kong region, depurated in a laboratory using uncontaminated filtered seawater for 8 days, and transplanted to a suspected gradient of chemically polluted sites in Hong Kong. After 14- and 28-days of field exposure, several antioxidant parameters including glutathione S transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH) were quantified in gill and hepatopancreas tissues. Whole body tissue concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCs) were determined in pooled site samples. Chemical analyses indicated that: (a) clams had higher levels of PAHs, PHCs, DDTs and PCBs, whereas mussels had higher hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs) and there was no difference between species for dieldrin and remaining OCs; (b) Kat O should not be continued as a "clean" reference site for Hong Kong, because of the levels of contaminants measured and (c) PAH concentrations in the current survey were similar to those previously measured. Toxicological conclusions were: (a) antioxidant responses were different between species; (b) CAT and GST have highest utility in clams for field use in Hong Kong, whereas CAT in both gill and hepatopancreas tissue showed most potential in mussels; (c) significant induction of antioxidant responses over day 0 (excluding GPx in both tissues, and GST in mussel hepatic tissue); (d) groups of contaminants do not consistently induce antioxidant responses and (e) organochlorines and PCBs correlated significantly with CAT and GST in clam hepatopancreas and with CAT in mussel gill and hepatic tissue. Multivariate statistical techniques indicated little relationship between the site patterns for antioxidant responses and the contaminant gradients identified in body burden analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-707
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number8-12
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant responses
  • Field transplant
  • Mussels (Perna viridis)
  • Organochlorine pesticides (OCs)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)


Dive into the research topics of 'Field validation of antioxidant enzyme biomarkers in mussels (Perna viridis) and clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) transplanted in Hong Kong coastal waters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this