In vivo magnetic resonance imaging of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: effect of cadmium accumulation in tissues on proton relaxation properties.
Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to visualize the internal anatomy of a living blue crab. The resolution obtained in these studies was sufficient to distinguish individual organs by the differences in their proton densities and proton relaxation properties. T1 (spin-lattice relaxation time)-weighted imaging revealed the lipid-rich nature of the hepatopancreas and gonadal tissue. To evaluate the effect of metal-induced stress on the different organs, crabs were exposed to elevated levels of cadmium in their diet, which resulted in increased concentrations of both cadmium and copper in the hepatopancreas. The spin-spin relaxation time, T2, of mobile protons in the metal-exposed tissue was significantly greater than T2 in the control tissues. These measurements suggest that the excess copper in the exposed tissues was diamagnetic [Cu(I)], since the presence of paramagnetic copper [Cu(II)] would result in a decrease of observed T2 values. We hypothesize that the increased T2 value is a reflection of increased free water in the hepatopancreas. These studies show that magnetic resonance imaging is an important nondestructive tool for the study of morphological and physiological changes that occur in marine invertebrates in response to anthropogenic and natural stresses.
Brouwer, M; Engel, DW; Bonaventura, J; Johnson, GA
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