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A computational model of the digestive gland epithelial cell of mmarine mussels and its simulated responses to oil-derived aromatic hydrocarbons

Author(s): Moore MN, Allen JI

Abstract

This paper describes a computational model of digestive gland epithelial cells (digestive cells) of marine mussels. These cells are the major environmental interface for uptake of contaminants, particularly those associated with natural particulates that are filtered from seawater by mussels. Digestive cells show well characterised reactions to exposure to lipophilic xenobiotics, such as oil-derived aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs), which accumulate in these cells with minimal biotransformation. The simulation model is based on processes associated with the flux of carbon through the cell. Physiological parameters such as fluctuating food concentration, cell volume, respiration, secretion/excretion, storage of glycogen and lipid, protein/organelle turnover (autophagy/resynthesis) and export of carbon to other tissues of the mussel are all included in the model. The major response to AHs is induction of increased autophagy in these cells. Simulations indicate that the reactions to AHs and food deprivation correspond well with responses measured in vivo.

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