Agelenids of the World

Systematics and Taxonomy of Agelenidae, a Worldwide distributed Spider Family

Quantitative immunodetection of metallothioneins in relation to metals concentration in spiders from variously polluted areas

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:A. Babczynska, Wilczek, G., Szulinska, E., Franiel, I.
Journal:Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:0147-6513
Keywords:Agelena labyrinthica, Agelena labyrinthica (Araneae)., Araneus diadematus, Araneus diadematus (Araneae)., Biochemical techniques, Biochemistry, Chemical, Eurasia, Europe, Land zones, Linyphia triangularis (Araneae)., Linyphia triangularis [Assay, Metallothioneins content / ] [Metal pollution / / ] [Poland / South /, Palaearctic region, Pollution, Techniques, techniques / ELISA / ] [Pollutants / Metals content / ] [Proteins /

Spiders inhabiting post industrial environments, such as waste heaps or ore-bearing areas, are exposed to high concentrations of metals, accumulated in the body of their prey and transferred along food chains. Therefore spiders are pressed to develop metal-neutralization strategies. Low-molecular, multifunction proteins: metallothioneins (MTs), often postulated as biomarkers of metal exposure, are known to bind metals and thus protect organisms against their toxic effects. Yet the proteins are still not well recognized in spiders. The aim of this study was to assess, by immunodetection method, ELISA, the concentration of metallothioneins in adult females of three web building spider species: Araneus diadematus (Araneidae), Agelena labyrinthica (Agelenidae) and Linyphia triangularis (Linyphiidae) from three variously polluted areas in southern Poland: Olkusz, ore-bearing post industrial site; Katowice[long dash]WeLnowiec: post metallurgic waste heap, Pilica: the reference, rural, area. The concentration of metallothioneins has been analyzed in relation to the metal concentration in spiders body. The study gives the evidence that metallothioneins are reliably detectable by means of ELISA technique. The analysis of results obtained shows a strong species-dependence of the MTs level. Positive correlations between MTs concentration and metal body burden (mainly Zn and Pb) were found. This suggests that the proteins play an important role in the neutralization and regulation of metal ions in spiders. The same correlation indicate the possibility to consider MTs in spiders as biomarkers of metal exposure and effects. However, the species specificity as well as metal characteristics should be taken under account.

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