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Speciation of arsenic metabolites in the free-living mouse Mus spretus from Doñana National Park used as a bio-indicator for environmental pollution monitoring

Miguel Ángel García-Sevillano, Macarena González-Fernández, Rocío Jara-Biedma, Tamara García-Barrera, Amalia Vioque-Fernández, Juan López-Barea, Carmen Pueyo, and José Luis Gómez-Ariza

Department of Chemistry and Material Science, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Campus El Carmen, 21007 Huelva, Spain

 

E-mail: tamara@dqcm.uhu.es

Abstract: A speciation approach based on orthogonal chromatographic systems coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to characterise the biological response of free-living mice Mus spretus to environmental pollution caused by arsenic in different areas of the Doñana National Park (south-west Spain). The relative presence of inorganic and organic forms of arsenic was studied in cytosolic extracts from high metabolic activity organs of Mus spretus mice: kidneys, liver, and brain. An instrumental coupling of size-exclusion chromatography with UV and collision/reaction cell-ICP-MS detectors (SEC-UV-ICP-ORC-MS) both in analytical and preparative scale was used for this purpose. The results showed the presence of low molecular mass (LMM) molecules linked to arsenic in these tissues especially in the kidneys, where the presence of these arsenic metabolites was higher. On the other hand, the presence of these arsenicals varied from one area to the other, which can be related to a different occurrence of contaminants. These low molecular mass fractions were collected by preparative SEC chromatography for later study with ion exchange chromatography and detection by ICP-ORC-MS, using both anionic and cationic columns. The results showed the higher presence of MMA and DMA in kidneys of mice caught in contaminated areas and the existence of small amounts of unidentified arsenicals when cation-exchange chromatography was used, which could be related to the presence of dimethylarsinoylethanol (DMAE), thioarsenic species, or arsenocholine (AsC).

Keywords: Mus spretus – arsenic speciation – arsenic metabolites – environmental pollution – Doñana National Park

Full paper is available at www.springerlink.com.

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0207-6

 

Chemical Papers 66 (10) 914–924 (2012)

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