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See detailThe thyroid gland and thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) during early development and metamorphosis
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Mariavelle, Emeline ULg et al

in Fish Physiology and Biochemistry (in press)

The sheepshead minnow is widely used in ecotoxicological studies that only recently have begun to focus on disruption of the thyroid axis by xenobiotics and endocrine disrupting compounds. However ... [more ▼]

The sheepshead minnow is widely used in ecotoxicological studies that only recently have begun to focus on disruption of the thyroid axis by xenobiotics and endocrine disrupting compounds. However, reference levels of the thyroid prohormone thyroxine (T4) and biologically active hormone 3,5,30-triiodothyronine (T3) and their developmental patterns are unknown. This study set out to describe the ontogeny and morphology of the thyroid gland in sheepshead minnow, and to correlate these with whole-body concentrations of thyroid hormones during early development and metamorphosis. Eggs were collected by natural spawning in our laboratory. T4 and T3 were extracted from embryos, larvae and juveniles and an enzyme-linked immunoassay was used to measure whole-body hormone levels. Length and body mass, hatching success, gross morphology, thyroid hormone levels and histology were measured. The onset of metamorphosis at 12-day post-hatching coincided with surges in whole-body T4 and T3 concentrations. Thyroid follicles were first observed in pre-metamorphic larvae at hatching and were detected exclusively in the subpharyngeal region, surrounding the ventral aorta. Follicle size and thyrocyte epithelial cell heights varied during development, indicating fluctuations in thyroid hormone synthesis activity. The increase in the whole-body T3/T4 ratio was indicative of an increase in outer ring deiodination activity. This study establishes a baseline for thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnows, which will be useful for the understanding of thyroid hormone functions and in future studies of thyroid toxicants in this species. [less ▲]

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See detailEVALUATION OF FISH EXPOSURE TO POP-LIKE (ORGANOTIN) COMPOUNDS IN SEPETIBA BAY (RIO DE JANEIRO STATE, BRAZIL) THROUGH HEPATIC TOTAL TIN CONCENTRATIONS
Paiva, TC; Schilithz, PF; Bisi, TL et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2016, August)

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See detailContrasted accumulation patterns of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in sympatric tropical dolphins from the south-western Indian Ocean
Dirtu, Alin; Malavannan, Govindan; Das, Krishna ULg et al

in Environmental Research (2016), 146

Due to their high trophic position and long life span, small cetaceans are considered as suitable bioindicators to monitor the presence of contaminants in marine ecosystems. Here, we document the ... [more ▼]

Due to their high trophic position and long life span, small cetaceans are considered as suitable bioindicators to monitor the presence of contaminants in marine ecosystems. Here, we document the contamination with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and total mercury (T-Hg) of spinner (Stenella longirostris, n=21) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, n=32) sampled from the coastal waters of La Réunion (south-western Indian Ocean). In addition, seven co-occurring teleost fish species were sampled and analyzed as well. Blubber samples from living dolphins and muscle from teleosts were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and metabolites (DDTs), chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Methoxylated PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs), reported as having a natural origin, were also analyzed. T-Hg levels were measured in blubber and skin biopsies of the two living dolphin species. δ13C and δ15N values were determined in skin of the dolphins and in the muscle of teleosts. For PCBs, HCHs and T-Hg, concentrations were significantly higher in T. aduncus than in S. longirostris. For other POP levels, intra-species variability was high. MeO-PBDEs were the dominant compounds (55% of the total POPs) in S. longirostris, while PCBs dominated (50% contribution) in T. aduncus. Other contaminants showed similar profiles between the two species. Given the different patterns of POPs and T-Hg contamination and the stable isotope composition observed among analyzed teleosts, dietary and foraging habitat preferences possibly explain the contrasted contaminant profiles observed in the two dolphin species. Levels of each class of contaminants were significantly higher in males than females. Despite their spatial and temporal overlap in the waters of La Réunion, S. longirostris and T. aduncus are differently exposed to contaminant accumulation. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution of inorganic and organic contaminants in the intertidal surface sediments along the Hugli River Estuary, eastern part of India
Das, Krishna ULg; Sarkar, Santosh; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2016, February 17)

Hooghly estuary and coastal environment in north east coast of India has been strongly affected by the rapid human settlements, intensive boating and tourist activities, deforestation and ongoing ... [more ▼]

Hooghly estuary and coastal environment in north east coast of India has been strongly affected by the rapid human settlements, intensive boating and tourist activities, deforestation and ongoing agricultural and aquacultural practices. The present work investigated trace elements (TEs, T-Hg, Al, V, Cr, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Co, Ni, Ca, Sr, Li, Be, P, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Ba, Pb, Bi, U, As, Se) and organohalogen compounds in surface sediment (top 0-10cm) considering 8 sampling sites along the Hugli River Estuary (HRE), India. The studied organic compounds include polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and metabolites (DDTs) and polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Textural analyses of the sediment reveal an overall dominance of mud. All trace elements could be detected at variable concentrations in the following descending order: Al>Fe>Ca> P>Mn> Cu> Zn> Ba >V >Cr>Sr>Ni> Li >Co >Pb>As >Se >U >Be >Sn>Bi >Ag >Mo >Cd >Sb. A synchronous enrichment of majority of the elements were observed at the site Gangasagar (~100 km south megacity Calcutta), situated at the confluence of Hugli River and Bay of Bengal, which might be attributed to cumulative impact of the physicochemical processes and multiple anthropogenic sources. It is revealed that PCBs and DDTs were the dominant compounds among the organic pollutants accounting concentrations up to 23.5 ng.g-1 and 4.4 ng.g-1 respectively at the site Babughat, adjacent to the megacity Calcutta. The results have implications for pollution in complex estuarine environment in a meso-macrotidal setup where there is significant influx of sediments carrying huge load of inorganic and organic pollutants mainly due to rapid urbanization and industrialization. [less ▲]

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See detailXenobiotic and Immune-Relevant Molecular Biomarkers in Harbor Seals as Proxies for Pollutant Burden and Effects?
Lehnert, Kristina; Ronnenberg, Katrin; Weijs, Liesbeth et al

in Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology (2016), 70(1), 106-120

Harbor seals are exposed to increasing pressure caused by anthropogenic activities in their marine environment. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and trace elements are hazardous contaminants which ... [more ▼]

Harbor seals are exposed to increasing pressure caused by anthropogenic activities in their marine environment. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and trace elements are hazardous contaminants which accumulate in tissues of harbor seals. POPs and trace elements can negatively affect the immune-system and have been reported e.g. to increase susceptibility to viral infections in seals. Biomarkers of the xenobiotic metabolism, cytokines and heat-shock-protein as cell mediators of the immune-system were established to evaluate the impact of environmental stressors on harbor seals. Harbor seals (n=54) were captured on sandbanks in the North Sea during 2009 to 2012. Medicals including hematology were performed, RNAlater blood samples were taken and analyzed using quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction. Normalized transcript copy numbers were correlated to hematology and POP concentration in blood, and trace metals in blood and fur. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Methylmercury on Harbour Seal Peripheral Blood Leucocytes In Vitro Studied by Electron Microscopy
Dupont, Aurélie; De Pauw-Gillet, Marie-Claire ULg; Schnitzler, Joseph ULg et al

in Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology (2016), 70(1), 133-142

Methylmercury MeHg is highly immunotoxic and can alter the health status of the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, from the North Sea. To investigate the mechanism of MeHg-induced toxicity in harbour seal ... [more ▼]

Methylmercury MeHg is highly immunotoxic and can alter the health status of the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, from the North Sea. To investigate the mechanism of MeHg-induced toxicity in harbour seal lymphocytes, ConA-stimulated peripheral blood leucocytes were exposed in vitro to sub-lethal concentrations of MeHgCl (0.2, 1 and 2 µM) for 72h, and then analysed for their viability and ultrastructure. After 72h of incubation, cells were counted with a propidium iodide staining technique, a metabolic MTS assay was performed, and cells exposed to 1 µM MeHgCl were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Alive cell numbers decreased with increased MeHgCl concentrations. In presence of ConA and 1µM of MeHgCl, TEM images revealed a higher frequency of apoptotic cells. Exposed cells displayed condensation of the chromatin at the nuclear membrane and mitochondrial damages. The results suggest that in vitro MeHgCl induced apoptosis in harbour seal lymphocytes through a mitochondrial pathway. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial variations in the concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from South Florida
Das, Krishna ULg; Damseaux, France ULg; Heithaus, M.R. et al

Poster (2015, December)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to quantify total mercury (T-Hg) and persistent organic pollutant (POPs: NDL-PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs) levels in bottlenose dolphins found off the highly populated island of Key West (n = 27) and from the undeveloped Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE; n = 20). T-Hg and POPs were analyzed in skin and blubber tissues, respectively, using a Direct Mercury analyzer (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-HRMS (DLCs). The 7 ICES PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from Key West (8229 ng.g-1 lipids) and the FCE (2289 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of PCDD/Fs remained low (Key West: 104 pg.g-1 lipids, FCE: 102 pg.g-1 lipids). POP concentrations were higher in individuals from Key West compared to those from the FCE. However, POP concentrations in Key West dolphins were lower than those from other locations in Florida and around the world. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in FCE dolphins (Key West: 2941 ng.g-1 dw versus, FCE: 9314 ng.g-1 dw), with the highest concentrations reported from the southeastern US. PCB concentrations remained under previously suggested threshold for adverse health effects (including immunosuppression) in marine mammals of 17 000 ng/kg lipid. To conclude, sources of T-Hg and POPs differed between Key West and the FCE as reflected by their concentrations in skin and blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins highlighting their role as sentinels of their environment. [less ▲]

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See detail) The spatial variability of trace element bioaccumulation processes: Tools to environmental management
Richir, Jonathan ULg; Lejeune, Lejeune; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 07)

As transitional environments, coastal meadows are particularly vulnerable to pollution. Trace elements remain contaminants of concern because of their persistence, their ability to accumulate in biota and ... [more ▼]

As transitional environments, coastal meadows are particularly vulnerable to pollution. Trace elements remain contaminants of concern because of their persistence, their ability to accumulate in biota and their toxicity. Local, regional, national and cross-border programs are thus initiated to monitor their environmental occurrence. Sentinel organisms, or bioindicators, have been widely used to this end since they accumulate the bioavailable and thus potentially toxic fraction of contaminants. In the framework of the STARECAPMED project, the accumulation of trace elements in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile was studied at different spatial scales: along a radial (100 m scale), in a bay (1 km scale), along the French Mediterranean littoral (10-100 km scale) and along the whole Mediterranean coastline (100-1000 km scale). Results showed that the contamination of the sampled shoots could vary as much at opposite scales. This benthic primary producer accumulates contaminants sequestered in the sediments, in addition to their dissolved fraction in the water column. The sediments also offer a time integration of coastal pollution and thus amplify the pollution signal recorded by the seagrass, resulting in the observed spatial variability. These results demonstrate that the in-depth knowledge of the ecology of the monitored bioindicator and the interactions it shares with its environment cannot be ignored. Such failure could lead to erroneous interpretations of the levels of contamination of monitored sites, and points out the need to define a sampling strategy based on the monitoring objectives and the selected bioindicator. [less ▲]

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See detailSeals as toxicological models to study the transfer of contaminants in the food chain
Das, Krishna ULg

Scientific conference (2015, November 05)

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See detailSpatial variations in concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, from the Lower Florida Keys and the coastal Everglades (South Florida)
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus, Michael et al

Conference (2015, October 09)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Everglades National Park (ENP). The objective of this study was 1) to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, DLCs and PCDD/Fs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from the LFK (T-Hg : nmales = 10; POPs : nmales = 16, nfemales = 8) and the ENP (T-Hg : nmales = 13, nfemales = 9; POPs : nmales = 11, nfemales = 8). T-Hg and POPs were analysed by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-MS (DLCs and PCDD/Fs). The PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from the LFK and ENP. The most present congeners where the CB no. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180 (Σ 6 PCBs LFK males: 13420.5 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs LFK females: 9683.4 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP males: 5637.9 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP females: 1426.9 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of DL PCBs remained low for both locations (LFK: 739 ng.g-1 lipids, ENP: 183 ng.g-1 lipids). PCBs concentrations were significantly higher in individuals from the LFK than those from the ENP. PCBs concentrations in LFK and ENP dolphins were significantly lower than those from other locations in the south-eastern US. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in ENP male dolphins (LFK: 2936.0 ng.g-1 dw, ENP: 10048.3 ng.g-1 dw). These high concentrations were the highest recorded in the south-eastern US and are most likely due to the presence of mangrove ecosystems. This study highlights the complexity of contaminant dynamics (inorganic vs. organic), even at small spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailDGTs, a complementary tool towards more efficient biomonitoring practices
Richir, Jonathan ULg; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Donnay, Annick et al

Conference (2015, October 01)

Among the diversity of contaminants, trace elements (TEs) remain of concern because of their persistence, their ability to accumulate in biota and their toxicity. The direct measurement of their dissolved ... [more ▼]

Among the diversity of contaminants, trace elements (TEs) remain of concern because of their persistence, their ability to accumulate in biota and their toxicity. The direct measurement of their dissolved concentrations only gives punctual and fluctuating information, and often remains below detection limits of analytical methods. The more appropriate use of sentinel organisms, or bioindicators, to monitor TEs has thus often been preferred in environmental surveys. The introduction of the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGTs) technique has however participated to progressively change this binary view - bioindicator vs water - of the coastal monitoring of TEs, and DGTs rapidly became a relevant complementary tool to bioindicators, has illustrated below. In the framework of the STARECAPMED project, the ecology and the ecotoxicology of TEs were studied in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile and the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819. DGTs (free- and pore-water probes) were deployed before sampling of organisms. TEs were also analyzed in suspended matter (dissolved and suspended-particulate TE speciation). Studies were performed in the Calvi Bay (Corsica, France), northwestern Mediterranean. TE concentrations in organisms and suspended matter or in DGT resins were measured by DRC-ICP-MS after HNO3/H202 mineralization or after a 24h elution in HNO3 1M, respectively. (1) TE bioaccumulation was first seasonally studied in P. oceanica over 3 years. Dissolved TE concentrations monitored with DGTs were low to very low. TE bioaccumulation dynamics in P. oceanica could thus be linked to the natural physiological cycle of the plant, in clean environmental conditions. (2) To complement that field survey, isolated seagrasses were in situ contaminated with TEs at environmental relevant concentrations. Through the use of DGTs, TE uptake kinetics were modelled for seagrasses exposed to know bioavailable concentrations of contaminants, as were loss kinetics during the following depuration phase. The TE sequestration ability of a healthy P. oceanica meadow facing sudden trace metal contamination events could also be quantified. (3) The deployment of pore-water DGT probes in bare-sand or seagrass colonized sediments further showed that, through its stabilizing function of the seabed, P. oceanica maintained higher TE levels in the pore-water. P. oceanica meadows thus offer a significant “depuration-filtering” ecological service along highly anthropized Mediterranean coasts. M. galloprovincialis are widely used in large spatial scale coastal monitoring surveys. (4) The deployment of caged mussels together with DGTs showed that the little contaminated water body of the Calvi Bay was relatively homogenous. It also allowed to calculate TE bioaccumulation towards mussels in reference conditions, and to compare it to native mussel populations. (5) Finally, during a 5 months mussel caging survey, mussels and suspended matter were collected weekly to monthly, such as were deployed DGTs. The physiological status of mussels, the speciation of TEs between their dissolved and suspended-particulate phases, and their relative influence on TE bioaccumulation dynamics in mussels were investigated. In conclusion, these case studies properly demonstrate how DGT probes can be used as a relevant and complementary tool to bioindicators. Their concomitant use should therefore be privileged in monitoring surveys. [less ▲]

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See detailTriclosan retardes development of Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus)
Dussenne, Mélanie ULg; Frederich, Bruno ULg; Das, Krishna ULg et al

Conference (2015, October)

The aquatic environment represents the final sink for many chemicals, including bactericidal agents. Among them Triclosan (TCS), with his chemical structure similar to thyroid hormones (THs), may have ... [more ▼]

The aquatic environment represents the final sink for many chemicals, including bactericidal agents. Among them Triclosan (TCS), with his chemical structure similar to thyroid hormones (THs), may have adverse effects on the thyroid system. The study we carried out aims to evaluate the effects of TCS exposure on development of Cyprinodon variegatus, a fish model used in ecotoxicological studies. We investigated the potential effects of TCS on C. variegatus during two key periods; embryonic development and metamorphosis. We exposed eggs and larvae to environmental relevant concentrations. We showed that TCS had no effect on reproduction parameters, such as egg fertility or survival rate of larvae. However, we highlighted the fact that hatching of exposed larvae was delayed of around 6 to 13 hours compared to control embryos. During the larval phase, measurements of THs levels were performed. We showed that TCS affected the typical ontogenic variations of the whole body thyroid hormones concentrations during metamorphosis. As THs are known to control somatic growth and development, we tested the effects of TCS exposure on morphological development. We observed no deformity or malformation, but we revealed a developmental retardation in larvae exposed to TCS, of around 18 to 32 hours. Such a developmental delay had never been highlighted in previous studies on TCS exposed fish. We hypothesize that the disruption of THs homeostasis affects the timing of the start of metamorphosis. As a consequence, exposed larvae showed an extended larval phase compared to the control group. The harmful effects of TCS on physiology and development are a major concern, as marine organisms are constantly exposed to it. Furthermore, strong connections exist between thyroid and reproductive system, which might have deleterious effects on population dynamics. [less ▲]

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See detailAnthropogenic particles in stomachs of anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) related to gill rakers morphology
Collard, France ULg; Das, Krishna ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg et al

in Proceedings of In the Wake of Plastics, Venice, October 13-15, 2015 (2015, October)

Anthropogenic debris (AB) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Plastic production is constantly increasing and it is estimated that 10% of this production end in the seas. As a ... [more ▼]

Anthropogenic debris (AB) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Plastic production is constantly increasing and it is estimated that 10% of this production end in the seas. As a consequence, plastic is considered as an emerging contaminant and ingestions by organisms are increasingly reported. Microdebris (< 5mm) are available for a high range of organisms, including planktivorous fish, such as the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus). Planktivorous fish have a particular gill basket, with long and tight gill rakers, related to their diet. Upon these gill rakers, small structures called denticles are present. These gill rakers act as a net to trap organic particles and AB. The aim of our study was to correlate sizes of AB ingested with the mesh constituted by the gill rakers and associated structures. Fifteen stomach contents were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and particles were measured. Five gill arches were observed with a scanning electron microscope. Cellulose fibers and microplastics were the most AB ingested. Comparing to other Clupeiformes (pilchard and Atlantic herring), anchovies have more denticles on each gill rakers (personal data). AB ingestion by fish is poorly studied and impacts of AB are not much understood. Clupeiformes play a major role in marine ecosystems and is the most consumed order by humans. As the branchial basket constitutes a food selective apparatus, more morphological studies dealing with AB ingestion on Clupeiformes are needed. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs: an isolation method adapted to identification by Raman spectroscopy
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology (2015), 69

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See detailThe effects of triclosan exposure in shape changes of sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) during early development and metamorphosis
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Frederich, Bruno ULg; Dussenne, Mélanie ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2015, August)

Thyroid hormones are essential for normal development, and for maintenance of normal physiological functions in vertebrates [1, 2]. In fish, thyroid hormones are involved in the control of osmoregulation ... [more ▼]

Thyroid hormones are essential for normal development, and for maintenance of normal physiological functions in vertebrates [1, 2]. In fish, thyroid hormones are involved in the control of osmoregulation, metabolism, somatic growth and post-hatching metamorphosis [1, 3, 4]. The regulation of thyroid hormone bioavailability in tissues and cells represents a very complex and unique web of feedback systems [2]. In fish and other vertebrates the thyroid cascade involves two components. First, thyroxine (T4) biosynthesis and secretion are largely under central control by the brain–pituitary–thyroid axis [5]. Second, there is the conversion of T4 to its biologically active form 3,5,3-triiodothyronine (T3) and its metabolism and receptor-mediated actions that seems largely to be under peripheral control in extra-thyroidal tissues [6]. The accumulation in the aquatic environment of anthropogenic chemicals, among which are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that alter normal hormonal regulation, is having dramatic consequences for humans and wildlife. Numerous chemicals disrupt thyroid homeostasis affecting thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis and transport, and cellular uptake and metabolism [7, 8]. Triclosan (TCS) is a synthetic chlorinated phenolic compound with a generalized use as an antimicrobial and preservative in many personal care and household products [9-11]. As a result of disposal of TCS through sewage systems and insufficient/variable removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) [9], widespread contamination with TCS has been detected in several countries, particularly in aquatic ecosystems, WWTP influents and effluents; sludges and biosolids; surface or ground water; drinking water; and aquatic sediments [9-11]. TCS and its metabolites have been detected in tissues and body fluids of aquatic organisms including fish, revealing they are accumulating in the food chain [9-11] and TCS has also been detected in human blood, breast milk and urine [9-11]. The structural similarity of TCS with THs [9] suggest it may have adverse effects on the thyroid system. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which TCS disrupts the thyroid axis. TCS effects on fish thyroid axis have not been investigated. It is possible, that the TCS toxic effects reported in fish embryos, larvae and adults [9-11] might be caused, at least in part, through its effect on the thyroid system. We determined how TCS affect ontogenic variations of thyroid hormones in developing sheepshead minnow larvae. Knowing that thyroid hormones are involved in somatic growth and post-hatching metamorphosis, we also tested the hypothesis that TCS alter the development of these larvae. To do this, we used landmark-based geometric morphometric methods. These methods allowed us to analyse the pure shape variations of our developing larvae, regardless orientation, position, and size. [less ▲]

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See detailDo Triclosan affect hearing development of Cyprinodon variegatus larvae?
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Benichou, Farida; Pinte, Nicolas et al

Poster (2015, August)

The aquatic environment represents the final sink for many chemicals, including bactericidal agents. Among them Triclosan (TCS) has been shown to affect the thyroid system of teleost. Larval stages are ... [more ▼]

The aquatic environment represents the final sink for many chemicals, including bactericidal agents. Among them Triclosan (TCS) has been shown to affect the thyroid system of teleost. Larval stages are particularly vulnerable to deleterious effects of endocrine disrupters because of potential impairment of fish development and behaviour. Thyroid hormones are critical to the development of the brain and auditory system. Thus, TCS could affect the development of the brain and hearing. The aims of this study were: to investigate hearing development in sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon variegatus) using the ABR technique (Auditory Brainstem Response) and to investigate the effects of triclosan on hearing development. Exposure to TCS was conducted from fertilization of eggs on at concentrations likely to be found in the environment: 20, 50 and 100 µgl-1. We characterized previously the ontogenic variation of thyroid hormones in embryos and larvae of sheepshead minnows. We observed an increase of thyroid hormones level around the 12th and the 15th day post hatching (dph), that may be associated with the transition from larval to juvenile stage during the development of this species. We concluded, that this period could be defined as a critical exposure window to pollutants. We determined hearing thresholds for sheepshead minnows of different ages. Our sheepshead minnows show ontogenic variations in the hearing ability during their development. At 30 days post hatching, their hearing ability is quite bad, with a narrow bandwidth of detected frequencies. But their hearing ability considerably enhance during their development to reach the adult hearing ability at around 80 days post hatching when this species reach sexual maturity. So we observe during the developmental phase of this fish species clear ontogenic improvements of the hearing ability and they showed an ontogenetic expansion in the frequency bandwidth they were able to detect. The effects of TCS in this development have yet to be determined but will be fully discussed. This study proposes an interesting new endpoint in thyroid disruption research. [less ▲]

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See detailIsolation and identification of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs by Raman spectroscopy: a new method
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2015, August)

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by ... [more ▼]

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by the difficulty to separate MP from bulk samples. Visual examination is often used as one or the only step to sort these particles. However, color, size and shape are insufficient and often unreliable criteria. Here we present an isolation method of MP specially adapted to a subsequent analysis by Raman spectroscopy. This method avoids fluorescence problems allowing the identification anthropogenic particles (AP) from stomach contents of fish by Raman spectroscopy. It was validated with commercial samples of microplastics and cotton along with stomach contents from three different Clupeiformes fishes: Clupea harengus, Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus. The optimized digestion and isolation protocol showed no visible impact on microplastics and cotton particles while the spectroscopic analysis allowed precise identification of microplastics and textile fibers. This approach allowed us to isolate 35 particles. These were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy: eleven were microplastics and thirteen were made of cellulose or lignin, or both (mostly fibers). Some particles were not identified but contained artificial colorants. This isolation protocol will help to assess the presence, quantity and composition of AP in planktivorous fish stomachs. [less ▲]

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