Heavy metal accumulation and genotoxic effects in levant vole (Microtus guentheri) collected from contaminated areas due to mining activities
Turna Demir, Fatma
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Heavy metal contamination is a serious environmental problem commonly monitored in various organisms. Small wild rodents are ideal biological monitors to show the extent of environmental pollution.The aim of this study was to evaluate the adverse effects of marble and stone quarries on the Levant vole,Microtus guentheri, inhabiting some polluted sites. In this context, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to analyze distribution of thirteen heavy metals (Fe, Al, Zn, Cu, Cr, Mn,Ni, B, Pb, As, Co, Cd, and Hg) in the organs (skins, bones, muscles, livers and kidneys) of the biological specimens, and the comet assay revealed DNA damage in blood lymphocytes for the first time. This study was conducted at close to the marble and stone quarries at Korkuteli, Antalya-Turkey during spring,summer, autumn (2017) and winter (2018) seasons. In spring and summer, genetic damage in blood lymphocytes from all polluted sites (sites 1e5) was significantly higher than that of controls, while in autumn it was higher in samples from three sites (sites 3e5). In terms of heavy metal distribution in organs, we found depositions of Fe, Al, Zn, Ni, Mn, Cr, Co, As and Pb primarily in the skin with its derivatives, Cu and Cd deposits in the kidney, Cu, Cd and B deposits in the liver, and As and Pb depositions in the bones. The study shows that certain organs (especially skin with its derivatives) and blood lymphocytes of Levant vole can be used as ideal indicators of heavy metal pollution. Our results suggest that the Korkuteli area could already be under the threat of heavy metal pollution.