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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Cellular effects of tributyltin (TBT) on the penis epithelium cells of prosobranchs (Hinia reticulata andOcinebrina aciculata)

  • M. Brick1,
  • U. Deutsch1 and
  • P. Fioroni1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen50:BF02367106


Cytopathological effects on organelles of penis epithelium cells were investigated in prosobranchs that had been exposed for two weeks to three months to high TBT-concentrations in artificial seawater. TBT exposure damaged cell organelles, such as mitochondria, Golgi dictyosomes, endoplasmatic reticulum, and injured the cell membranes. In addition, atypical intercellular spaces were observed between the cells of the epithelial layer. Further cell alterations included the increase of residual bodies within the cells as well as structural changes of the basal lamina. The ultrastructural changes were compared with cell alterations of specimens which had been collected in a polluted environment on the coast of Brittany (France).


Waste WaterEndoplasmatic ReticulumStructural ChangeWater PollutionPolluted Environment