The concentrations of butyltin (summation operatorBT=TBT+DBT+MBT) and mercury (Hg) were determined in the liver of 35 harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), which were found dead along the coastlines or caught as by-catch in the Danish North Sea and the Inner Danish waters. In addition, three harbour porpoises hunted in West Greenland were analysed. High levels of butyltin and mercury, within the range of 68-4605 mg BT/kg ww and 0.22-92 mg Hg/kg ww, were found in the liver of the Danish harbour porpoises and both substances tend to accumulate with age. The levels in the harbour porpoise from West Greenland were 2.0-18 mg BT/kg ww and 6.3-6.9 mg Hg/kg ww, respectively. The concentrations of butyltin and mercury were both found to be higher in stranded than in by-caught harbour porpoises but only the butyltin concentration was significantly higher in stranded porpoises in the age group 1-5 years. These substances are suspected of inducing adverse effects on immune and endocrine systems in mammals and they may thereby pose a threat to the animals. This study suggests that organotin compounds are also important, when assessing the risks of contaminants on the health and viability of harbour porpoises in Danish waters.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a perfluorinated molecule that has recently been identified in the sera of nonindustrially exposed humans. In this study, 247 tissue samples from 15 species of marine mammals collected from Florida, California, and Alaskan coastal waters; and northern Baltic Sea; the Arctic (Spitsbergen); and Sable Island in Canada were analyzed for PFOS. PFOS was detected in liver and blood of marine mammals from most locations including those from Arctic waters. The greatest concentrations of PFOS found in liver and blood were 1520 ng/g wet wt in a bottlenose dolphin from Sarasota Bay, FL, and 475 ng/mL in a ringed seal from the northern Baltic Sea (Bothnian Sea), respectively. No age-dependent increase in PFOS concentrations in marine mammals was observed in the samples analyzed. The occurrence of PFOS in marine mammals from the Arctic waters suggests widespread global distribution of PFOS including remote locations.
Among the waterfowl affected by white phosphorus (P4) at a military base in Alaska are tundra (Cygnus columbianus) and trumpeter (C. buccinator) swans. To estimate the toxicity of P4 to swans and compare the toxic effects to those of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), we dosed 30 juvenile mute swans (C. olor) with 0 to 5.28 mg P4/kg body weight. The calculated LD50 was 3.65 mg/kg (95% CI: 1.40 to 4. 68 mg/kg). However, many of the swans still had P4 in their gizzards after dying, as determined by "smoking gizzards" and characteristic odor, and a lower LD50 might be calculated if all of the P4 had passed into the small intestines. We attribute the retention of P4 in swans to the possibility that P4 pellets were mistaken for the similarly sized grit in their gizzards. Most swans took 1 to 4.5 days to die in contrast to the few hours normally required in mallards and death appeared to be related more to liver dysfunction than to hemolysis. White phosphorus affected several plasma constituents, most notably elevated aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, and alanine aminotransferase.
A number of systems that generate oxygen free radicals and reactive aldehydic species are activated by excessive ethanol consumption. Recent studies from human alcoholics and from experimental animals have indicated that acetaldehyde and aldehydic products of lipid peroxidation, which are generated in such processes, can bind to proteins forming stable adducts. Adduct formation may lead to several adverse consequences, such as interference with protein function, stimulation of fibrogenesis, and induction of immune responses. The presence of protein adducts in the centrilobular region of the liver in alcohol abusers with an early phase of histological liver damage indicates that adduct formation is one of the key events in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease. Dietary supplementation with fat and/or iron strikingly increases the amount of aldehyde-derived epitopes in the liver together with promotion of fibrogenesis.
HLA-A and -B alleles in 74 Danish patients and 21 homozygous relatives with idiopathic haemochromatosis (IH) were compared with those in a sample of 1719 chromosomes from healthy Danish control subjects. The following alleles occurred with higher frequencies in IH compared to controls: A3: 53.6% vs. 15.1% (Pc less than 0.001); B7: 33.1% vs. 15.6% (Pc less than 0.001); B14: 6.9% vs. 3.0% (Pc greater than 0.05); B38: 5% vs. 0.9% (Pc greater than 0.05); B47: 4.0% vs. 0.4% (Pc greater than 0.05). Pedigree analyses disclosed 19 different haplotypes in IH subjects, compared to 286 haplotypes in controls. The following haplotypes occurred with higher frequency in IH compared to controls: A3,B5: 10.3% vs. 0.3% (Pc less than 0.001); A3,B7: 25.6% vs. 6.6% (Pc = 0.001); A3,B14: 3.4% vs. 0.6% (Pc greater than 0.05); A3,B47: 6.9% vs. 0.2% (Pc greater than 0.05). The major IH marker HLA-A3 was found in 56% of the haplotypes. The patterns of HLA-alleles associated with IH in Denmark show similarities to those in Central Europe, Australia, USA and Canada, being A3,B7 dominated and those in Central Sweden, England and Ireland, being A3,B14 dominated.
The effects of aurofusarin in the quail diet on the antioxidant systems of the developing embryo are investigated. Thirty eight 45-day-old Japanese quails (Coturnix japonica) were divided into two groups and were fed on a corn-soya diet or the same diet supplemented with aurofusarin at the level of 26.4 mg/kg feed in the form of Fusarium graminearum culture enriched with aurofusarin. Eggs obtained after 7 weeks of feeding were incubated. Samples of quail tissues were collected at day 17 of embryonic development and from day old hatchlings. Antioxidants and malondialdehyde were analysed by HPLC-based methods. Inclusion of aurofusarin in the maternal diet was associated with decreased concentrations of alpha- and gamma-tocopherols, alpha- and gamma-tocotrienols, retinol, lutein and zeaxanthin in egg yolk. The vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) concentration in the liver and yolk sac membrane (YSM) of the day 17 embryos and the hatchlings from aurofusarin-fed group was significantly decreased. Alpha-tocopherol concentration was also reduced in kidney, lung, heart, muscle and brain of day-old quails. In the liver of day-old quails, concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, retinol, retinyl linoleate, retinyl oleate, retinyl palmitate and retinyl stearate were also reduced. As a result of these diminished antioxidant concentrations, tissue susceptibility to lipid peroxidation was significantly increased. It is suggested that a compromised antioxidant system of the egg yolk and embryonic tissues could predispose quails to increased mortality at late stages of their embryonic development.
BACKGROUND: In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. METHODS: We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59) and kidney (n = 57) tissues. RESULTS: Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1-35.6 microg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1-50 microg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 microg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p
Concentrations of total mercury ([THg]) and selenium ([TSe]) were measured in several tissue compartments in Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) pups; in addition we determined specific compartment and body burdens of THg. Compartmental and body burdens were calculated by multiplying specific compartment fresh weight by the [THg] (summing compartment burdens equals body burden). In all 6 pup tissue sets (1) highest [THg] was in hair, (2) lowest [THg] was in bone, and (3) pelt, muscle and liver burdens contributed the top three highest percentages of THg body burden. In 5 of 6 pups the Se:Hg molar ratios among compartments ranged from 0.9 to 43.0. The pup with the highest hair [THg] had Se:Hg molar ratios in 9 of 14 compartments that were ? 0.7 potentially indicating an inadequate [TSe] relative to [THg].
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Cites: Toxicol Lett. 2003 Jan 31;137(1-2):103-1012505436
Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) blubber (n = 72) and liver (n = 23) samples were collected during seven consecutive subsistence harvests (1997-2000) at Barrow, Alaska, to investigate the bioaccumulation of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) by this long-lived mysticete. The rank order of OC group concentrations (geometric mean, wet weight) in bowhead blubber samples were toxaphene (TOX; 455 ng/g) > polychlorinated biphenyls (SigmaPCBs; 410 ng/g) > dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane-related compounds (SigmaDDT; 331 ng/g) >or= hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (SigmaHCHs; 203 ng/g) >or= chlordanes and related isomers (SigmaCHLOR; 183 ng/g) > chlorobenzenes (SigmaCIBz; 106 ng/g). In liver, SigmaHCH (9.5 ng/g; wet weight) was the most abundant SigmaOC group, followed by SigmaPCBs (9.1 ng/g) >or= TOX (8.8 ng/g) > SigmaCHLOR (5.5 ng/g) > SigmaCIBz (4.2 ng/g) >or= SigmaDDT (3.7 ng/g). The dominant analyte in blubber and liver was p,p'-DDE and alpha-HCH, respectively. Total TOX, SigmaPCBs, SigmaDDT, and SigmaCHLOR concentrations in blubber generally increased with age of male whales (as interpreted by body length), but this relationship was not significant for adult female whales. Biomagnification factor (BMF) values (0.1-45.5) for OCs from zooplankton (Calanus sp.) to bowhead whale were consistent with findings for other mysticetes. Tissue-specific differences in OC patterns in blubber and liver may be attributed to variation of tissue composition and the relatively low capacity of this species to biotransform various OCs. Principal component analysis of contaminants levels in bowhead blubber samples suggest that proportions of OCs, such as beta-HCH, fluctuate with seasonal migration of this species between the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.
Blubber was analyzed for a wide range of contaminants from five sub-adult and eight adult male ringed seals sampled in 2004, namely, for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), toxaphenes, chlordanes, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs). Contaminant levels were compared to previously sampled animals from the same area, as well as data from literature for other arctic wildlife species from a wide variety of locations. Ringed seals sampled in 2004 showed 50-90% lower levels of legacy contaminants such as PCBs and chlorinated pesticides compared to animals sampled in 1996 of similar age (14 sub-adults and 7 adult males), indicating that the decline of chlorinated contaminants observed during the 1990s in a variety of arctic wildlife species is continuing into the 21st century. The results also indicated that PBDE declined in ringed seals; levels in 2004 were about 70-80% lower than in animals sampled in 1998. This is one of the first observations of reduced exposure to these compounds and might be a first indication that restrictions of production and use of these contaminants have resulted in lower exposures in the Arctic. The PCB pattern shifted toward the less chlorinated (i.e., less persistent) PCBs, especially in adult ringed seals, possibly as a result of reduced overall contaminant exposures and a consequently lower cytochrome P-450 (CYP) induction, which results in a slower metabolism of less persistent PCBs. The overall effect would be relative increases in the lower chlorinated PCBs and a relative decreases in the higher chlorinated PCB. Possibly due to low exposure and consequent low induction levels, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylation (EROD) activity proved to be a poor biomarker for contaminant exposure in ringed seals in the present study. The close negative correlation (r(2) = 70.9%)between EROD activity and percent blubber indicates that CYP might respond to increased bioavailability of the contaminant mixtures when they are mobilized from blubber during periods of reduced food intake.