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See detailOrganochlorine pollutants in sea turtles and their association with vitamin A
Dyc, Christelle ULg; Debier, Cathy; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2010, May)

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See detailMaternal transfer of chlorinated contaminants in the leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, nesting in French Guiana
Guirlet, Elodie ULg; Das, Krishna ULg; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

in Chemosphere (2010), 79(7), 720-726

We examined the maternal transfer of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), pesticides (DDTS and HCHs) 26 and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the temporal variation of blood and eggs concentrations from ... [more ▼]

We examined the maternal transfer of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), pesticides (DDTS and HCHs) 26 and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the temporal variation of blood and eggs concentrations from 27 38 leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting in French Guiana. PCBs were found to be the dom- 28 inant OCs with respective mean concentrations of 55.14 ng g 1 lipid-mass for egg and 1.26 ng mL 1 wet- 29 mass for blood. OC concentrations were lower than concentrations measured in other marine turtles 30 which might be due to the lower trophic position (diet based on gelatinous zooplankton) and to the loca- 31 tion of their foraging and nesting grounds. All OCs detected in leatherback blood were detected in eggs, 32 suggesting a maternal transfer of OCs. This transfer was shown to depend on female blood concentration 33 for RDDTs and for the most prevalent PCB congeners, since significant relationships were found between 34 paired blood–egg concentrations. During the nesting season, OC concentrations in eggs and the percent- 35 age of lipid in eggs were found to decline in successive clutches, highlighting a process of offloading from 36 females to their eggs and a decreasing investment of lipid from females into their clutches. OCs in eggs 37 tended to be higher in females spending 3 years in the foraging grounds between two nesting seasons 38 than in those spending 2 years, suggesting an impact of time spacing two breeding seasons, called remi- 39 gration interval, and of location of the foraging grounds. [less ▲]

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See detailAnthropogenic and naturally-produced organobrominated compounds in marine mammals from Brazil
Dorneles, Paulo R; Lailson-Brito, José; Dirtu, Alin C et al

in Environment International (2010), 36(1), 60-67

Liver samples from 51 cetaceans, comprising 10 species, stranded between 1994 and 2006 in a highly industrialized and urbanized region in Southeast Brazil, were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers ... [more ▼]

Liver samples from 51 cetaceans, comprising 10 species, stranded between 1994 and 2006 in a highly industrialized and urbanized region in Southeast Brazil, were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and methoxylated-PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs). A concentration range of PBDEs (3-5960 ng/g lw) similar to that observed in Northern Hemisphere dolphins was found. MeO-PBDE concentrations in continental shelf (CS) dolphins from Brazil are among the highest detected to date in cetaceans (up to 250 µg/g lw). Higher [Sigma]MeO-PBDE concentrations were measured in CS and oceanic dolphins than in estuarine dolphins. The [Sigma]PBDE/[Sigma]MeO-PBDE ratio varied significantly ranging from a mean value of 7.12 to 0.08 and 0.01 for estuarine, CS and oceanic species, respectively. A positive correlation was observed between [Sigma]PBDE and year of stranding of male estuarine dolphins (Sotalia guianensis), which suggests temporal variation in the exposure. Placental transfer of organobrominated compounds was also evidenced in S. guianensis. [less ▲]

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See detailPersistent organic pollutants and methoxylated PBDEs in harbour porpoises from the North Sea from 1990 until 2008. Young wildlife at risk?
Weijs, Liesbeth; van Elk, Cornelis; Das, Krishna ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2010), 409

n the European North Sea, harbour porpoises are top predators with relatively long life spans and a limited capacity for metabolic biotransformation of contaminants compared to some other marine mammal ... [more ▼]

n the European North Sea, harbour porpoises are top predators with relatively long life spans and a limited capacity for metabolic biotransformation of contaminants compared to some other marine mammal species. As such, they are exposed to a mixture of persistent pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), DDT and metabolites (DDXs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and chlordanes (CHLs) that bioaccumulate in their tissues. We report here on the levels of persistent organic pollutants and of the naturally-produced methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs) in blubber, liver and kidney of harbour porpoise neonates (n = 3), calves (n = 15), juveniles (n = 6) and adults (n = 4) of the southern North Sea. Concentrations of almost all contaminant classes decrease slightly in all age groups over the period 1990–2008. For some classes (e.g. PCBs and DDXs) however, levels seem to increase little in harbour porpoise calves. In all animals, blubber had the highest concentrations, followed by liver and kidney, whereas liver and kidney were the preferred tissues for several compounds, such as octa- and deca-PCBs. Our data suggest that harbour porpoises calves are exposed to higher or comparable concentrations of POPs and of MeO-PBDEs and somewhat different patterns of selected POPs than adults, potentially placing them, and the entire population, at a disproportionate risk for exposure-related health effects. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrence of anthropogenic and naturally-produced organohalogenated compounds in tissues of Black Sea harbour porpoises
Weijs, Liesbeth; Das, Krishna ULg; Neels, Hugo et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (2010), 60

Harbour porpoises are one of the three cetacean species inhabiting the Black Sea. This is the first study to report on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and naturally-produced compounds, methoxylated ... [more ▼]

Harbour porpoises are one of the three cetacean species inhabiting the Black Sea. This is the first study to report on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and naturally-produced compounds, methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs) and polybrominated hexahydroxanthene derivatives (PBHDs), in tissues (kidney, brain, blubber, liver, muscle) of male harbour porpoises (11 adults, 9 juveniles) from the Black Sea. Lipid-normalized concentrations decreased from muscle > blubber > liver > kidney > brain for the sum of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and for the sum of PBDEs. Among the naturally-produced compounds, levels of PBHDs were higher than of MeO-PBDEs, with tri-BHD and 6-MeO-BDE 47 being the dominant compounds for both groups, respectively. Concentrations of naturally-produced compounds decreased from blubber to brain, similarly to the sum of DDT and metabolites (DDXs). Concentrations of DDXs were highest, followed by PCBs, HCB, PBHDs, PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs. Levels of PCBs and PBDEs in blubber were lower than concentrations reported for harbour porpoises from the North Sea, while concentrations of DDXs were higher. [less ▲]

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See detailPolychlorinated Biphenyls affect Histological Appearance of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) Thyroids
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Celis, Niko et al

Conference (2010)

Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are well-described endocrine disrupters and of particular interest are effects on thyroid function. We propose here a thorough approach to assess effects of these compounds on ... [more ▼]

Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are well-described endocrine disrupters and of particular interest are effects on thyroid function. We propose here a thorough approach to assess effects of these compounds on the thyroid function of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). An experimental exposure of sea bass to commercial PCB mixtures has been designed to understand underlying toxicity mechanisms and effects on the thyroid system. After 120 days of exposure histological appearance of thyroid tissue was assessed by light and electron microscopy. The follicle area, perimeter, diameter, length and with of every follicle cross section were interactively measured. The shape of the follicles was described with three dimensionless shape descriptors: roundness, form factor and aspect ratio. The histomorphometrical analysis showed a greater heterogeneity of thyroid follicle diameter and especially higher epithelial cell heights in sea bass exposed to environmental relevant doses of PCB (from 0.3 to 0.9 μg g-1 [7 ICES PCB]). Ultrastructural histological investigations showed that the epithelial cells surrounding the bigger follicles present an higher accumulation of colloid droplets. This was interpreted to be the result of increased stimulation of follicular cells. No differences in shape could be identified among the different treatment groups The size of the follicles and the form of the follicular cells gives an indication of the secretary activity of the gland. These observations support the hypothesis that the contamination of PCB mixtures can induce a hyperactivity of the thyroid tissue. These observations were confirmed by measurements of muscular thyroid hormone concentrations and activity thyroid hormone metabolism. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on Thyroid Hormone Physiology and Metabolism of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Celis, Niko et al

Conference (2010)

Studies in the laboratory have shown that a number of synthetic and natural chemicals can interfere with the endocrine system in fish. Among them, organic compounds such as pesticides and ... [more ▼]

Studies in the laboratory have shown that a number of synthetic and natural chemicals can interfere with the endocrine system in fish. Among them, organic compounds such as pesticides and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are well described endocrine disrupters. Of particular interest are effects on thyroid function, but data on effects of PCB exposure on these hormones and related metabolism has been lacking. We propose here a thorough approach to assess effects of these compounds on the thyroid function of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). An experimental exposure of sea bass to commercial PCB mixtures has been designed to understand underlying toxicity mechanisms and effects on the thyroid system. After 120 days of exposure, muscular thyroid hormone concentrations and the main metabolic pathways for thyroid hormones (deiodination, glucuronidation and sulfatation) were assessed. Exposure to environmental relevant doses of PCB (from 0.3 to 0.9 ppm [7 ICES PCB]). alters hepatic T4 outer ring deiodinase and T4 sulfatation whereas T4 glucuronidation was not affected. Owing to the extensive autoregulatory feedback at both central and peripheral levels, the thyroid hormone concentrations were preserved despite the PCB induced changes in thyroid hormone dynamics. At 10 times higher concentrations (10 ppm [7 ICES PCB]). an important depression of muscular T3 and T4 levels could be observed which are apparently caused by other mechanisms than metabolic pathways. Further analysis is required to evaluate thyroid gland function and secretion. These results support the observations made in our field study in wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from coastal regions near several important European rivers mouths. [less ▲]

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See detailApproaches for assessing potential impacts of thyroid hormone disrupting chemicals in wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2010)

Organic compounds such as pesticides and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are well described endocrine disrupters; of particular interest are effects on thyroid function. To assess the ability of occurring ... [more ▼]

Organic compounds such as pesticides and polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) are well described endocrine disrupters; of particular interest are effects on thyroid function. To assess the ability of occurring pollutants in European coastal areas to disrupt the thyroid system in sea bass, a field study in the major European estuaries, namely, the Scheldt, the Seine, the Loire, the Charente and the Garonne has been conducted. Several thyroid endpoints were simultaneously examined. Diameter of follicles and the epithelial cell heights give an indication on the production and secretion activity of the thyroid gland. The activity of enzymes involved in the metabolism (deiodination, glucuronidation and sulfatation) of thyroid hormones was analyzed. Finally thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations were analyzed in muscle by radioimmunoassay. The combined use of all those endpoints gives us an overview of the complex thyroid hormone system. PCB concentration in wild fish varied from 10 to 100 ng g-1 wet weight (ww) depending on length and location. Each region has its own contamination levels and profiles reflecting the contribution of pollutants from rivers. The contamination levels were as follows: the highest concentrations were measured in individuals collected from the coastal region near the Scheldt > Seine > Loire > Charente and the lowest levels were observed in sea bass from coastal regions near the Garonne. Measurements of metabolic activity revealed an altered hepatic T4 outer ring deiodinase whereas T4 sulfatation and T4 glucuronidation were not affected. Owing to the extensive autoregulatory feedback at both central and peripheral levels, the thyroid hormone concentrations were preserved despite the PCB induced changes in thyroid hormone dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Models for Lifetime Exposure to PCB 153 in Male and Female Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena): Model Development and Evaluation
Weijs, Liesbeth; Yang, Raymond; Covaci, Adrian et al

in Environmental Science & Technology (2010), 44

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models were developed for the most persistent polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB 153) in male and female harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) to elucidate processes ... [more ▼]

Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models were developed for the most persistent polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB 153) in male and female harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) to elucidate processes such as uptake, distribution, and elimination. Due to its limited metabolic capacities, long life span, and top position in marine food chains, this species is highly sensitive to pollution. The models consist of 5 compartments, liver, blubber, kidney, brain, and a compartment which accounts for the rest of the body, all connected through blood. All physiological and biochemical parameters were extracted from the literature, except for the brain/blood partition coefficient and rate of excretion, which were both fitted to data sets used for validation of the models. These data sets were compiled from our own analyses performed with GCMS on tissue samples of harbor porpoises. The intake of PCB 153 was from milk from birth to 4 months, and after weaning fish was the main food source. Overall, these models reveal that concentrations of PCB 153 in males increase with age but suggest that,asthe animalsgrowolder, metabolic transformation can be a possible pathway for elimination as well. In contrast, the model for females confirms that gestation and lactation are key processes for eliminating PCB 153 as body burdens decrease with age. These PBPK models are capable of simulating the bioaccumulation of PCB 153 during the entire life span of approximately 20 years of the harbor porpoises. [less ▲]

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See detailToxicodynamic of pollutants in poïkilotherm species
Dyc, Christelle ULg; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg; Debier, Cathy et al

Poster (2009, November 27)

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See detailMaternal transfer of mercury to offspring in phocids
Habran, Sarah ULg; Pomeroy, Paddy; Debier, Cathy et al

Conference (2009, June 09)

Marine mammals may display high mercury (Hg) levels in their tissues, which raises the question of the importance of toxic metal transfer from mother to offspring. Indeed, Hg could be transferred from ... [more ▼]

Marine mammals may display high mercury (Hg) levels in their tissues, which raises the question of the importance of toxic metal transfer from mother to offspring. Indeed, Hg could be transferred from mothers to fetuses via the placenta and to suckling pups via the milk, potentially affecting them during their most sensitive periods of development. Some lactating female phocids fast during the suckling period. This fasting period involves not only an important mobilization of energy reserves, but also mobilization of potentially associated contaminants. We studied and compared maternal transfer of Hg to offspring in two phocid species: the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) from the Californian coast and the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) from the Isle of May in Scotland. Total mercury concentrations (THg) were measured in whole blood and maternal milk of 20 mother-pup pairs of each species in early and late lactation. Methylmercury (MeHg) levels were also measured in the blood and milk of grey seals. Results indicated that Hg passed from the maternal tissue into the phocid milk. Milk showed a range of THg levels from 15 to 60 ppb (ng.g-1-wet-weight). From the first days after birth, pups displayed relatively high blood Hg levels suggesting that a Hg transfer through placenta occurred. Blood Hg levels in mothers and pups also varied significantly throughout lactation. While maternal levels doubled, pup levels were reduced by half between the beginning and the end of lactation. Remobilization of proteins and lipids during fasting and milk production in mothers might lead to a release of Hg in blood and therefore increase the levels in late lactation. On the contrary, Hg would be progressively stored in pup organs during their development. Decreasing Hg levels in pups also suggest that the Hg intake via the milk might be lower than that via the placenta. This study highlights a transplacental and transmammary transfer of Hg in both phocid populations. However, further toxicology studies are needed to help understand the potential impact of this Hg transfer. Results also showed that physiological processes such as lactation and/or fasting can modify Hg levels in the blood of mothers and pups. Therefore, such processes and body condition should be considered carefully when interpreting Hg levels in the framework of biomonitoring. [less ▲]

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See detailMethylmercury in vitro exposure of harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) lymphocytes: a multidisciplinary approach
Dupont, Aurélie ULg; Siebert, Ursula; Rosenberger, Tanja et al

Poster (2009, June 08)

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See detailLes océans malades des hommes - Portrait
Devuyst, Paul; Das, Krishna ULg

Article for general public (2009)

Portrait de Krishna Das par Mr Paul Devuyst "Krishna Das, chercheuse au laboratoire d’océanologie de l’Université de Liège, dans le service du professeur Jean-Marie Bouquegneau, s’intéresse aux niveaux et ... [more ▼]

Portrait de Krishna Das par Mr Paul Devuyst "Krishna Das, chercheuse au laboratoire d’océanologie de l’Université de Liège, dans le service du professeur Jean-Marie Bouquegneau, s’intéresse aux niveaux et aux effets des polluants toxiques tels que les métaux lourds et autres composés organiques qui s’accumulent dans les tissus de plusieurs espèces marines de poissons, reptiles, oiseaux et mammifères." [less ▲]

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