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Title: Metal bioaccumulation, genotoxicity and gene expression in the European wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) inhabiting an abandoned uranium mining area
Author: Lourenço, Joana
Pereira, Ruth
Gonçalves, Fernando
Mendo, Sónia
Keywords: Bioaccumulation
DNA damage
Gene expression
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Genotoxic effects caused by the exposure to wastes containing metals and radionuclides were investigated in the European wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). The animals were captured in the surroundings of an abandoned uranium mining site. DNA damage was assessed by comet assay; gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed, respectively, by Real-Time PCR and melt curve analysis. The bioaccumulation of metals in the liver, kidney and bones was also determined to help clarify cause-effect relationships. Results confirmed the bioaccumulation of cadmium and uranium in organisms exposed to uranium mining wastes. P53 gene was found to be significantly up-regulated in the liver of those organisms and SNPs in the Rb gene were also detected in the kidney. Our results showed that uranium mining wastes caused serious DNA damage resulting in genomic instability, disclosed by the significant increase in DNA strand breaks and P53 gene expression disturbance. These effects can have severe consequences, since they may contribute for the emergence of serious genetic diseases. The fact that mice are often used as bioindicator species for the evaluation of risks of environmental exposure to humans, raises concerns on the risks for human populations living near uranium mining areas.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.10.105
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos

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