Bioaccumulation of arsenic species in rays from the northern Adriatic Sea

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Dec 1;15(12):22073-91. doi: 10.3390/ijms151222073.


The difference in arsenic concentration and speciation between benthic (Pteromylaeus bovinus, Myliobatis aquila) and pelagic rays (Pteroplatytrygon violacea) from the northern Adriatic Sea (Gulf of Trieste) in relation to their size (age) was investigated. High arsenic concentrations were found in both groups with tendency of more efficient arsenic accumulation in benthic species, particularly in muscle (32.4 to 362 µg·g-1 of total arsenic). This was attributed to species differences in arsenic access, uptake and retention. In liver most arsenic was present in a form of arsenobetaine, dimethylarsinic acid and arsenoipids, whereas in muscle mainly arsenobetaine was found. The good correlations between total arsenic/arsenobetaine and size reflect the importance of accumulation of arsenobetaine with age. Arsenobetaine is an analogue of glycine betaine, a known osmoregulator in marine animals and both are very abundant in mussels, representing an important source of food for benthic species P. bovinus and M. aquila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arsenic / metabolism*
  • Body Size
  • Body Weight
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Female
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Oceans and Seas*
  • Skates, Fish / metabolism*


  • Arsenic