Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are important environmental pollutants due to their persistence and bioaccumulation potential both in organisms and in sediments. In this study, bioaccumulation and depuration experiments were performed employing local Mediterranean mussel species. Mytilus galloprovincialis, with two biomarkers: filtration rate and lysosomal stability (neutral red retention) assay. Benzo(a)anthracene (BaA) was chosen as the model PAH compound due to its common presence in several matrices in the marine environment. Bioconcentration Factors (BCFs) for the mussels exposed to different BaA concentrations were calculated from both kinetic rate constants and from the experimental data and found between 27-3184 and 16-2745, respectively. Experimental QSAR values were found comparable to the previous QSAR models created for BaA. The effect of BaA exposure on the mussels showed a more clear dose-response relationship according to the results of lysosomal stability compared to the filtration rate. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.