The aim of this study was to provide a first insight on the incorporation of eight metals in the eggs of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis via maternal transfer, using radiotracer techniques (110mAg, 241Am, 109Cd, 60Co, 134Cs, 54Mn, 75Se and 65Zn). The cuttlefish was fed daily with radiolabelled crabs for two weeks; it then started to spawn every three days. Among the eight tracers, only 110mAg, 75Se and 65Zn were significantly transferred to the eggs. The radiotracer distribution among the egg compartments showed that 75Se and 65Zn were accumulated mainly in the vitellus whereas 110mAg was found in similar proportion in the vitellus and the eggshell. During the embryonic development, 75Se and 65Zn contained in the vitellus were progressively transferred to the embryo, likely to supply its metabolic needs in these essential elements. Although it has no known biological functions, Ag contained in both vitellus and eggshell was also transferred to the embryo. Overall, our results showed that transfer of Ag, Se, and Zn does actually occur from a female cuttlefish to its eggs, at least during the last two weeks before spawning. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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