Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defense. Exposure to pollutants may increase ROS and affect antioxidant levels, and the resulting oxidative stress may negatively affect both reproduction and survival. We measured concentrations of 18 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and 9 toxic elements in blood, as well as total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total glutathione (tGSH), and carotenoids in plasma of Baltic and Arctic female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) (N = 54) at the end of their incubation-related fasting. The more polluted Baltic population had higher TAC and tGSH concentrations compared to the Arctic population. Carotenoid levels did not differ between populations. The effect of mixtures of pollutants on the antioxidants was assessed, and the summed molar blood concentrations of 14 POPs were positively related to TAC. There was no significant relationship between the analyzed pollutants and tGSH concentrations. The adaptive improvement of the antioxidant defense system in the Baltic population may be a consequence of increased oxidative stress. However, both increased oxidative stress and energy allocation toward antioxidant defense may have adverse consequences for Baltic eiders at the incubation stage, when energy resources reach an annual minimum due to incubation-related fasting.
The aim of this study was to measure perfluoroalkyl substances in a selection of imported consumer products (n = 45) and estimate population normalized emission rates during the use phase. 6:2 and 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (FTOH) were found in the highest concentrations ranging from
Basal metabolic rate (BMR), the minimal energetic cost of living in endotherms, is known to be influenced by thyroid hormones (THs) which are known to stimulate in vitro oxygen consumption of tissues in birds and mammals. Several environmental contaminants may act on energy expenditure through their thyroid hormone-disrupting properties. However, the effect of contaminants on BMR is still poorly documented for wildlife. Here, we investigated the relationships between three groups of contaminants (organochlorines (OCs), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and mercury) with metabolic rate (MR), considered here as a proxy of BMR and also with circulating total THs (thyroxine (TT4) and triiodothyronine (TT3)) in Arctic breeding adult black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Svalbard, during the chick rearing period. Our results indicate a negative relationship between the sum of all detected chlordanes (?CHLs) and MR in both sexes whereas perfluorotridecanoate (PFTrA) and MR were positively related in females only. MR was not associated with mercury. Additionally, levels of TT3 were negatively related to ?CHLs but not to PFTrA. The findings from the present study indicate that some OCs (in both sexes) and some PFASs (only in females) could disrupt fine adjustment of BMR during reproduction in adult kittiwakes. Importantly, highly lipophilic OCs and highly proteinophilic PFASs appear, at least in females, to have the ability to disrupt the metabolic rate in an opposite way. Therefore, our study highlights the need for ecotoxicological studies to include a large variety of contaminants which can act in an antagonistic manner.
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC), UMR 7372 CNRS - Université de La Rochelle, 79360 Villiers-en-Bois, France; Akvaplan niva AS (APN), Fram Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Incubating eggs represents a trade-off for parent birds between spending enough time fasting to take care of the clutch and to get enough nutrients for self-maintenance. It is believed that the pituitary hormone prolactin plays an important role in such allocation processes. Incubation does not solely imply the active warming of the eggs but also the active egg-turning to facilitate absorption of albumen by the embryo, reduce malposition and prevent the embryo from adhering to the inner shell membrane. However, how prolactin secretion is related to egg-turning behaviors is presently poorly addressed. In addition, several environmental contaminants can affect parental care behaviors through their endocrine disrupting properties but the effects of such contaminants on egg-turning behaviors remain so far unexplored. Using artificial eggs equipped with miniaturized data loggers, we investigated the relationships between egg-turning behaviors, prolactin secretion and contaminants burden in Arctic black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). Specifically, we examined the relationships between blood concentrations of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), organochlorines (OCs), mercury (Hg), plasma prolactin levels and both egg-turning frequency and angular change. We also incorporated baseline corticosterone levels since this glucocorticoid is known to affect parental care. Plasma prolactin levels were positively related to angular change in female kittiwakes while corticosterone was not related to egg-turning behaviors in either sex. Hg was not related to egg-turning behaviors in either sex. We found contrasting associations between OCs and PFASs, since polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were negatively associated with angular change in females, contrary to linear perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOSlin) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) which were positively related to egg-turning frequency and angular change in both sexes. Additionally, PFASs concentrations were positively related to prolactin levels in female kittiwake. The possible stimulation of prolactin secretion by PFASs could therefore make adult kittiwakes to allocate more time taking care of their eggs, and thus possibly modify the trade-off between spending enough time caring for the clutch and obtaining enough nutrients at sea.
Environmental contaminants are found throughout Arctic marine ecosystems, and their presence in seabirds has been associated with toxicological responses. However, there are few studies of genotoxicity in Arctic avian wildlife. The purpose of the present study was to quantify DNA damage in lymphocytes of selected seabird species and to examine whether accumulation of organohalogen contaminants ( OHCs) affects DNA damage. Blood was sampled from common eider (Somateria mollissima), black guillemot (Cepphus grylle), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus), arctic skua (Stercorarius parasiticus), and great skua (Stercorarius skua) in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Contaminant concentrations found in the six species differed presumably due to foraging ecology and biomagnification. Despite large differences in contaminant concentrations, ranging from SOHCs 3.3 ng/g ww in the common eider to SOHCs 895 ng/g ww in the great skua, there was no strong difference among the species in baseline DNA damage or sensitivity to a genotoxic stressor (i.e. hydrogen peroxide). Baseline levels of DNA damage were low, with median values ranging from 1.7% in the common eider to 8.6% in the great skua. There were no associations between DNA damage and contaminants in the investigated species, suggesting that contaminant concentrations in Kongsfjorden are too low to evoke genotoxic effects, or possibly that lymphocytes are resistant to strand breakage. Clearly, genotoxicity is a topic for future studies of Arctic seabirds. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Alterations in the genetic material may have severe consequences for individuals and populations. Hence, genotoxic effects of environmental exposure to pollutants are of great concern. We assessed the impact of blood concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury (Hg) on DNA double-strand break (DSB) frequency, in blood cells of a high-exposed Baltic, and lower exposed Arctic population of common eiders (Somateria mollissima). Furthermore, we examined whether the genotoxic response was influenced by antioxidant concentration (plasma total glutathione (tGSH) and total antioxidant capacity) and female body mass. The DNA DSB frequency did not differ between the two populations. We found significant positive relationships between Hg and DNA DSB frequency in Baltic, but not in Arctic eiders. Although both p,p'-DDE and PCB 118 had a lesser effect than Hg, they exhibited a positive association with DNA DSB frequency in Baltic eiders. Antioxidant levels were not important for the genotoxic effect, suggesting alternative mechanisms other than GSH depletion for the relationship between Hg and DNA DSBs. Hence, the Baltic population, which is considered to be endangered and is under the influence of several environmental stressors, may be more susceptible to genotoxic effects of environmental exposure to Hg than the Arctic population.
Arctic animals undergo large seasonal fluctuations in body weight. The effect of body condition on the distribution and composition of 16 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) was investigated in liver, blood, kidney, adipose tissue, and muscle of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard (n = 18, age 1-3 years). PFAS concentrations were generally highest in liver, followed by blood and kidney, while lowest concentrations were found in adipose tissue and muscle. Concentrations of summed perfluorocarboxylic acids and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates were five and seven times higher, respectively, in adipose tissue of lean compared to fat foxes. In addition, perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) and perfluoroheptanesulfonate (PFHpS) concentrations in liver, kidney, and blood, and, perfluorononanoate (PFNA) in liver and blood, were twice as high in the lean compared to the fat foxes. The ratio between perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) and its metabolite perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) was lowest in liver, muscle, and kidney, while significantly higher proportions of FOSA were found in adipose tissue and blood. The results of the present study suggest that toxic potential of exposure to PFAS among other pollutants in Arctic mammals may increase during seasonal emaciation. The results also suggest that body condition should be taken into account when assessing temporal trends of PFASs.
Erratum In: Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Nov 18;48(22):13558
Increasing levels of poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) have recently been described in Arctic biota. These emerging substances are of concern given their resistance to degradation and metabolization. Some studies have reported endocrine disrupting effects for some PFASs. However, there is a gap of knowledge on the potential relationships between PFASs and hormones mediating the life-history trade-off between reproduction and survival, such as glucocorticoids. The aims of this study were to (1) describe the concentrations of plasma perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates in Svalbard black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) in relation to gender and body-condition, (2) explore the relationships between PFASs and corticosterone (the major glucocorticoid in birds), and (3) assess the consequences of PFAS exposure for reproductive success. Perfluorononanoate was positively related to body-condition in male kittiwakes; perfluorotridecanoate and perfluorotetradecanoate to decreased baseline corticosterone in both sexes; and perfluorododecanoate was related to lower hatching success. These results underline the importance of considering each compound separately when investigating the hazardous effects of PFASs on wildlife.