Molluscs represent a simple and significant model system to test how specific metals can simultaneously affect development and putative mechanisms of defense and/or cell death. Lamellidens marginalis (Bivalvia: Eulamellibranchiata) are the molluscs of Indian freshwater ecosystem and important biological resources. Lead (Pb) is widespread heavy metal that is released into the environment from different sources. Their accumulation in the soils can become dangerous to all kinds of organisms, including plants, animals and human life, causing many adverse effects. Lamellidens are used as reliable markers and bioindicators highly sensitive to environmental changes. The aim of the present work was to determine the toxic effect of lead on the cytomorphology of hemocytes of Lamellidens marginalis and to evaluate its potential as a bio monitor for detecting a heavy-metal polluted environment. Treated cells showed apoptosis and paraptosis (vacuolation) like features. Morphological analyses suggested an irretrievable destruction of normal morphology of hemocyte. However further studies are needed to investigate this topic, particularly in relation to the pollutants reported in this paper.
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