Determination of the distribution of rare earth elements La and Gd in Daphnia magna via micro and nano-SXRF imaging

Marion Léonie Revel*, Kadda Medjoubi, Camille Rivard, Delphine Vantelon, Andrew Hursthouse, Susanne Heise

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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While our awareness of the toxicity of rare earth elements to aquatic organisms increases, our understanding of their direct interaction and accumulation remains limited. This study describes the acute toxicity of lanthanum (La) and gadolinium (Gd) in Daphnia magna neonates and discusses potential modes of action on the basis of the respective patterns of biodistribution. Ecotoxicological bioassays for acute toxicity were conducted and dissolved metal concentrations at the end of the tests were determined. The results showed a significant difference in nominal EC50 (immobility) between La (> 30 mg L-1) and Gd (13.93 (10.92 to 17.38) mg L-1). Daphnids that were then exposed to a concentration close to the determined EC50 of Gd (15 mg L-1, nominal concentration) for 48 h and 72 h were studied by synchrotron micro and nano-X-ray fluorescence to evaluate the biodistribution of potentially accumulated metals. X-ray fluorescence analyses showed that La was mainly found in the intestinal track and appeared to accumulate in the hindgut. This accumulation might be explained by the ingestion of solid La precipitates formed in the media. In contrast, Gd could only be detected in a small amount, if at all, in the intestinal tract, but was present at a much higher concentration in the tissues and became more pronounced with longer exposure time. The solubility of Gd is higher in the media used, leading to higher dissolved concentrations and uptake into tissue in ionic form via common metal transporting proteins. By studying La and Gd biodistribution in D. magna after an acute exposure, the present study has demonstrated that different uptake pathways of solid and dissolved metal species may lead to different accumulation patterns and toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Sciences: Processes & Impacts
Early online date25 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2023


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