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A primary FIsh Gill Cell System (FIGCS) for environmental monitoring of river waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Matteo Minghetti, Sabine Schnell, Michael A. Chadwick, Christer Hogstrand, Nic R. Bury

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

King's Authors


Studies were conducted to assess the feasibility of a primary Fish Gill Cell culture system (FIGCS) for both laboratory and field based environmental monitoring of rivers known to be affected by metal contamination. FIGCS were exposed in the laboratory and in the field to water from the River Hayle, a metal-contaminated system in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Water chemistry, including transition metal concentrations, changes in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), cell viability and the expression of metal responsive genes, metallothionein A and B were measured. FIGCS tolerated river water in the laboratory showing no loss in TEER or cell viability following 24 h exposure. The cells also tolerated transport to the field (similar to 1000 km and 30 h) and exposure to unfiltered and filtered river water. Metallothionein A and B, a measure of intracellular biologically active metals, expression was induced in the laboratory and field on exposure to water from sites with elevated metal concentrations compared to those sites where metal levels were below water metal Environmental Quality Standards. This demonstrates that FIGCS detects bioreactive metals in river waters on exposure in the laboratory or field and can be used for on-site environmental monitoring as well as investigations into bioavailability and toxicity of contaminant mixtures in natural waters.

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