Relationship between lysosomal membrane destabilization and chemical body burden in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Academic Article uri icon


  • Lysosomal destabilization was measured by using hemocytes of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) collected along a chemical concentration gradient in Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Results of the lysosomal response were compared to concentrations of organic compounds and trace elements in oyster tissue. Concentrations (on a dry-wt basis) ranged from 288 to 2,390 ng/g for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 38 to 877 ng Sn/g for tri-n-butyltin (TBT), 60 to 562 ng/g for polyclorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 7 to 71 ng/g for total DDT. Trace element concentrations (on a dry-wt basis) ranged from 1.1 to 4.0 microg/g for Cd, 105 to 229 microg/g for Cu, 212 to 868 microg/g for Al, and 1,200 to 8,180 microg/g for Zn. The percentage of destabilized lysosomes ranged from 34 to 81%. A significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) was observed between lysosomal destabilization and body burden of organic compounds (PAHs, PCBs, TBT, and chlorinated pesticides). No significant correlation was found between metal concentrations and lysosomal destabilization. Based on lysosomal destabilization, the study sites in Galveston Bay can be placed in one of three groups: healthy (Hanna Reef and Confederate Bay), moderately damaged (Offats Bayou and Todd's Dump), and highly damaged (Yacht Club and Ship Channel). Lysosomal destabilization that is consistent with toxic chemical body burdens supports previous observations that lysosomal membranes are damaged by toxic chemicals and indicates that this method can serve as an early screening tool to assess overall ecosystem health by using oysters.

published proceedings

  • Environ Toxicol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Hwang, H., Wade, T. L., & Sericano, J. L.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Hwang, Hyun-Min||Wade, Terry L||Sericano, Jose L

publication date

  • June 2002