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See detailDiscrimination of two geographically distinct populations of sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax, using stable isotopic signatures of mercury (δ202Hg, Δ199Hg)
Cransveld, Alice ULg; Amouroux, David; Koutrakis, Emmanuil et al

Poster (2014, May 15)

Despite the reduction of mercury (Hg) emissions in Europe in the last decades, Hg emissions are increasing worldwide and concentrations found in some marine predators remain high. This raises questions on ... [more ▼]

Despite the reduction of mercury (Hg) emissions in Europe in the last decades, Hg emissions are increasing worldwide and concentrations found in some marine predators remain high. This raises questions on mercury's biogeochemical cycle at both local and global scale. In the present work, we investigate the possibility to use mercury isotopic signature in fish as a tool to discriminate different polluted areas and potential pollution sources. Indeed, Hg can exhibit both mass-dependent (MDF) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF). While MDF may occur during biological cycling inter alia and could be used to understand bioaccumulation processes, MIF provides a unique fingerprint of specific chemical pathways, such as photochemical transformations. In this context, information provided by Hg isotopes would help to improve environmental management strategies. A preliminary set of four and ten juvenile common sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax were collected from the North Sea and the Aegean Sea respectively. T-Hg was analysed by direct mercury analyser (DMA), speciation by gas chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (GC-ICP-MS) and Hg isotope analysis were performed using cold vapour generation with multicollector ICP-MS. Total Hg concentrations in all tissues were higher in individuals from the North Sea ( Hgtot muscle=1,14 ± 0,48 mg.kg-1 dw) than from Greece (0,60 ± 0,06 mg.kg-1 dw). Speciation analysis shows that MeHg is the predominant form of Hg in muscle (89% MeHg on average) but not in liver (51% MeHg on average). Isotopic mass dependent values (δ202Hg) values were always higher in muscle than in liver and related to Hg species distribution. For mass independent isotopic signature, sea bass from the Aegean Sea had a systematically higher Δ199Hg value than individuals from the North sea (e.g.: 0,56 ± 0,05‰ and 0,32 ± 0,06‰ respectively in muscle). While mass dependent isotopic signature probably reflects some internal Hg metabolism, mass independent isotopic signature seems definitely site dependent. Such isotopic discrimination might be in agreement with difference in both mercury sources and cycling in the North and Aegean Seas. These preliminary results indicate that Hg isotopes may thus help to discriminate fish from different areas. This promising outcome must be further confirmed by extending the number of individuals and locations to be investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing features of mercury and methylmercury to discriminate contamination profiles between sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, populations
Cransveld, Alice ULg; Amouroux, David; Koutrakis, Emmanuil et al

Poster (2014, March 07)

Despite many efforts consented in the last decades, Mercury (Hg) emissions have kept rising worldwide. Currently, anthropogenic inputs dominate Hg emissions to the atmosphere by far, natural releases ... [more ▼]

Despite many efforts consented in the last decades, Mercury (Hg) emissions have kept rising worldwide. Currently, anthropogenic inputs dominate Hg emissions to the atmosphere by far, natural releases accounting only for a 4th of the total. Because Hg has a stable gaseous form (Hg0) with a long residence time in the atmosphere (~1year), both natural and industrially produced Hg can be transported far from point sources. Therefore, many uncertainties remain in our knowledge about Hg biogeochemistry. Our study aims at identifying the different Hg forms found in marine predators in order to discriminate different polluted areas and potential pollution sources. More specifically, we seek to discriminate contaminations of local origins versus contamination of global origins. To achieve this, we are currently studying different sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, populations from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. In muscle, liver, kidney and brain tissues, we analyze total Mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg). We are also testing the discrimination power of Hg's stable isotopes (199Hg, 201Hg and 202Hg). Indeed, recent findings show that Hg isotopes can exhibit both mass-dependent (MDF) and mass-independent fractionation (MIF). This means that Hg isotopes provide two different types of information at once, both on biological cycling of Hg, including bioaccumulation (MDF), and on chemical pathways such as photochemical transformations (MIF). Eventually, we are planning to extend our results with compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA) on the carbon of methylmercury. Preliminary analysis performed on 14 juvenile specimens from the North Sea and the Aegean Sea indicate that THg concentrations are higher in individuals from the North Sea than from Greece. The lack of correlation with size and weight indicate that it is likely linked to a difference in contamination levels between the two areas. MeHg is the predominant form of Hg in muscle, while the same cannot be asserted for liver. Mass dependent isotopic values (δ202Hg), were always higher in muscle than in liver and, for each tissue, values were similar between the two areas. This is probably related to the species distribution and to some internal Hg metabolism. For mass independent isotopic signature (MIF), sea bass from the Aegean Sea had a systematically higher Δ201Hg value than individuals from the North Sea. Thus, mass independent values seem definitely site dependent and might be in agreement with differences in both mercury sources and cycling in the North and Aegean Seas. These preliminary results consequently indicate that Hg isotopes may help to discriminate fish from different areas. This promising outcome must be further confirmed by extending our sampling and will be coupled to other results obtained through CSIA. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopmental changes of thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Mariavelle, Emeline ULg; Silvestre, Frédéric et al

Poster (2013)

The sheepshead minnow is widely used in ecotoxicological studies and such investigations have begun to focus on potential disruption of the thyroid axis. However, normal levels of thyroxin (T4) and 3,5,3’ ... [more ▼]

The sheepshead minnow is widely used in ecotoxicological studies and such investigations have begun to focus on potential disruption of the thyroid axis. However, normal levels of thyroxin (T4) and 3,5,3’-triiodothyronine (T3) and their developmental patterns are unknown. This study set out to determine the profiles of whole-body thyroxin (T4) and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) levels during the development of sheepshead minnow from embryo to juvenile and adults. Couples of three females and two males were placed in breeding chambers designed for this experiment. More than 1000 eggs were collected and maintained in seawater. Embryos were selected under a dissection microscope and placed in incubation dishes (50 per dish) at 25°C. On day 8, embryos hatched and larvae were transferred to 1L beakers. For one week after hatching, larvae were fed on artemias and from 8 to 30 days post-hatch they were fed on flaked fish food. Embryos were sampled on day 0, 2, 4, 6 post-fertilization and larvae and juveniles were sampled every three days from day 0 to 28 days post-hatch. The pooled samples were taken from several incubation dishes and divided in three replicate batches of 30 individuals. Enzyme-linked immunoassay were used and validated for analysis of T4 and T3 after extraction from whole fish. At each sampling point 5 individuals were placed in formalin fixative for histology. Length and body mass were measured. Hatching success, gross in vivo observations, thyroid hormone levels and histology data will be determined and discussed in the framework to characterize the profiles of thyroid hormone levels during the development of sheepshead minnow from embryo to adult. This study establishes a baseline for thyroid hormones in sheepshead minnows, which will be vital for the understanding of thyroid hormone functions and in future studies of thyroid toxicants in this species. [less ▲]

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See detailThe sheepshead minnow Cyprinodon variegatus as a marine vertebrate model for investigating endocrine disrupting effects of triclosan
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Gauthray, Ghislain ULg; Silvestre, Frédéric et al

Poster (2012)

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been a prominent model in toxicology. This freshwater species present many advantages both in identifying endpoints of toxicity and in elucidating mechanisms of toxicity ... [more ▼]

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been a prominent model in toxicology. This freshwater species present many advantages both in identifying endpoints of toxicity and in elucidating mechanisms of toxicity. However, marine toxicologists lack such omnipotent model displaying similar advantages to zebrafish: small size, rapid breeding, and easy maintenance. We propose here the use of the sheepshead minnow Cyprinodon variegatus to define thyroid-disrupting effects of triclosan during pre-hatching development. Three females and two males were placed in each of the three breeding chambers designed for this experiment. More than 300 eggs were collected over three days and maintained in seawater with triclosan concentrations at 0, 100 ng.L-1, and 100 µg.L-1. Exposure of larvae to triclosan lasted until hatching. After hatching (six days post-spawning), 5 larvae per condition were placed in Bouin’s fixative for brain and thyroid histology. Length and body mass were measured. The body was frozen at -80oC to determine muscle thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4), using radio-immunoassay techniques. Hatching success, in vivo observations, gross observation, thyroid hormone levels, histology will be determined and discussed in the framework of whether or not triclosan may alter thyroid metabolism during pre-hatching period of the sheepshead minnow. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental factors affecting thyroid function of wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from European coasts
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in Chemosphere (2012)

Thyroid functional status of wild fish in relation with the contamination of their environment deserves further investigation. We here applied a multi-level approach of thyroid function assessment in 87 ... [more ▼]

Thyroid functional status of wild fish in relation with the contamination of their environment deserves further investigation. We here applied a multi-level approach of thyroid function assessment in 87 wild sea bass collected near several estuaries: namely the Scheldt, the Seine, the Loire, the Charente and the Gironde. Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations in muscle were analyzed by radioimmunoassay. The activity of hepatic enzymes involved in extrathyroidal pathways of thyroid hormone metabolism, viz. deiodination, glucuronidation and sulfatation were analyzed. Last, follicle diameter and epithelial cell heights were measured. We observed changes that are predicted to lead to an increased conversion of T4–T3 and lowered thyroid hormone excretion. The changes in the metabolic pathways of thyroid hormones can be interpreted as a pathway to maintain thyroid hormone homeostasis. From all compounds tested, the higher chlorinated PCBs seemed to be the most implicated in this perturbation. [less ▲]

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See detailThyroid endocrine disruption in situ and in vivo experiments reveals compensatory mechanisms
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Celis, Niko; Klaren, Peter et al

Conference (2011, May)

We compared effects of in situ and in vivo exposure of EDC on teleost thyroid system in order to get a complete picture of the putative interactions. A 120-day experimental exposure was designed in ... [more ▼]

We compared effects of in situ and in vivo exposure of EDC on teleost thyroid system in order to get a complete picture of the putative interactions. A 120-day experimental exposure was designed in combination to in situ measurements of persistent organic pollutants in 87 wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) form European estuaries. Seventy-five individuals were exposed to doses of PCB (0.3 to 1.0 µg Σ7PCBs per g food pellets) that reflects the persistent organic pollution to which the European sea bass population could conceivably be exposed. We applied a series of recommended measurement endpoints in these studies. The centrally controlled thyroidal secretion of T4 was monitored adequately from the muscular T4 levels and from thyroid histological appearance. Muscular T3 levels and enzymatic deiodinase and sulfatase activities in liver were measured. Observations made in experimental exposure to environmental relevant doses of PCB were consistent with those made in our field study. In both studies the muscular T4 levels were unaffected and no multivariate relationship with contaminant exposure could be revealed. Measurements of follicular diameter and epithelial cell heights showed no significant differences. Our findings revealed an increase of the hepatic T4ORD activity by higher chlorinated PCB congeners and DDTs. In both studies, we observed a general decrease the thyroid hormone conjugation by sulfatases that increases their solubility and facilitates their excretion. The muscular T3 levels were well preserved. These changes likely represent compensatory responses to disrupting effects that might otherwise have depressed T3 levels. This approach permitted us to interpret the causes and implications of alterations of the teleost thyroid system. [less ▲]

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See detailApproaches for assessing the presence and impact of thyroid hormone disrupting chemicals in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from European coasts
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg

Doctoral thesis (2011)

Thyroid functional status of wild fish in relation with the contamination of their environment deserves further investigation. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro ... [more ▼]

Thyroid functional status of wild fish in relation with the contamination of their environment deserves further investigation. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDTs), Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg) were analysed in the muscle of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) sampled in coastal regions near several important European river mouths (Gironde, Charente, Loire, Seine and Scheldt). We applied a multi-level approach of thyroid function assessment. Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations in muscle were analyzed by radioimmunoassay. The activity of hepatic enzymes involved in extrathyroidal pathways of thyroid hormone metabolism, viz. deiodination, glucuronidation and sulfation were analyzed. Last, follicle diameter and epithelial cell heights were measured. We observed changes that lead to an increased conversion of T4 to T3 and lowered thyroid hormone excretion. The changes in the metabolic pathways of thyroid hormones can be interpreted as a pathway to maintain thyroid hormone homeostasis. The higher chlorinated PCBs seemed to be the most implicated in this perturbation. To gain a more integrated insight, we examined the effect of subchronic exposure to a mixture of Aroclor standards on thyroid hormone physiology and metabolism in juvenile sea bass. After 120 days of exposure, histomorphometry of thyroid tissue, muscular thyroid hormone concentration and activity of enzymes involved in metabolism of thyroid hormones were assessed. The results show that the effects of PCB exposures on the thyroid system are dose-dependent. Exposure to environmentally relevant doses of PCB (0.3 to 1.0 μg Σ7PCBs per g food pellets) increases thyroid hormone synthesis and stimulates hepatic T4 outer ring deiodinase and T4 sulfation. Thyroid hormone tissue levels were preserved thanks to the PCB induced changes in T4 dynamics. At 10 times higher concentrations (10 μg Σ7PCBs per g food pellets) an important depression of T3 and T4 levels could be observed which are apparently caused by degenerative histological changes in the thyroid tissue. We propose accurate interpretations, by reviewing the different stages of teleost thyroid function and regulation. [less ▲]

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See detailThyroid hormone disrupting chemicals in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from European coasts
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Michel, Loïc ULg; Klaren, Peter et al

Conference (2011, February 25)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDTs), Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg ... [more ▼]

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDTs), Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg) were analysed in the muscle of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) sampled in coastal regions near several important European river mouths (Gironde, Charente, Loire, Seine and Scheldt). These potential endocrine disrupting chemicals were present in European coastal waters. Even if their concentrations were well below the Maximum Residue Limits set by the governments, they induced alterations of the endocrine system. We established correlations between contaminant concentrations and effects on the thyroid system in sea bass. The contaminants induced modifications of the metabolic pathways of thyroid hormones and enhanced thyroid hormone synthesis. The activity of T4 Outer Ring Deiodinase was increased, that leads to an intensified conversion of thyroxine (T4) to its more biologically active form triiodothyronine (T3). Meanwhile, the activity of T4 sulfatation was reduced, that leads to a lowered biliary excretion of thyroid hormones. The modified metabolic pathways of the thyroid hormones can be interpreted as a tool to homeostatically maintain the thyroid hormone status. Of all tested compounds, the higher chlorinated PCBs seemed to be the most implicated in this perturbation. The nature of thyroid hormone synthesis, signalling and regulation is highly conserved among vertebrates. Although we cannot extrapolate thyroid toxicity data directly from one species to another, these environmental factors may well affect thyroid function in other species, including humans. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganisms as ecosystems engineers: the case of amphipod grazers from Posidonia oceanica meadows
Michel, Loïc ULg; Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Dupont, Alessandra et al

Poster (2011, February 25)

Posidonia oceanica is a seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, and is able to form large monospecific areas, called meadows. These meadows shelter high biomasses and biodiversities of amphipod ... [more ▼]

Posidonia oceanica is a seagrass endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, and is able to form large monospecific areas, called meadows. These meadows shelter high biomasses and biodiversities of amphipod crustaceans. Moreover, It is now established that several species of these amphipods feed on the macro-epiphytes present on the leaves of the seagrass. Here, we performed in situ experiments to assess whether this grazing activity could impact the dynamics of the leaves’ epiphytic cover, and thus influence the functioning of the meadow as an ecosystem. We used microcosms containing monospecific populations of 3 amphipods taxa (Apherusa chiereghinii, Dexamine spiniventris and Gammarus spp.), and placed them directly in the meadow, at a depth of 10m. Biomasses of erected macroalgae and erected animals (hydrozoans, bryozoans) were lower in all grazed treatments. However, none of the studied taxa seemed to consume encrusting epiphytes, either vegetal or animal. This selective grazing pressure by amphipods may release encrusting epiphytes from competition for space, light and/or nutriments with the fast-growing erected algae, and could thus play an important role in the structuring of the epiphytic cover from P. oceanica leaves. Moreover, this top-down control might keep erected algae biomass to a normal, sustainable level, therefore also benefiting the seagrass itself. Our results also indicate that amphipod trophic activity caused nitrogen enrichment in both grazed (erected algae) and non-grazed (encrusting algae & seagrass leaves) vegetal tissues. A plausible interpretation could be that sloppy feeding and excretion by the grazers enhanced availability of this nutrient, which is typically limiting for photosynthesis in shallow P. oceanica meadows. This emphasizes the fact that grazing is not a simple negative interaction, but that it can also benefit the primary producers. Our results thus indicate that amphipods from P. oceanica meadows seem to be bound to the epiphytic cover of the leaves by complex and multilateral trophic interactions, and have an indirect influence on the seagrass itself. Amphipods may therefore play an important part in the functioning of the epiphyte/seagrass/grazer system of these meadows, and thus act as ecosystems engineers. This abstract is dedicated to the freshly born Adèle and Côme. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and trace elements in wild European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) off European estuaries
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg; Lepage, Mario et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2011), 409(19), 3680-3686

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg ... [more ▼]

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), aldrin, dieldrin and trace elements (Cd, Cu, Se, Pb, Zn and Hg) were analysed in the muscle of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) sampled in Atlantic coastal regions near several important European river mouths (Gironde, Charente, Loire, Seine and Scheldt). High contamination levels were measured in the muscles of European sea bass sampled in the coastal regions near those river mouths (e.g. Σ ICES PCB=133–10,478 μg kg−1 lw and Hg=250–2000 μg kg−1 dw). The Scheldt and the Seine are still among the most contaminated estuaries in Europe. Each region presented their specific contamination patterns reflecting different sources due to the input of the respective rivers. As fish and fishery products are the main contributors of the total dietary intake of organochlorinated pollutants, regular consumption of European sea bass with the reported contamination levels may represent a significant exposure route for the general human population. [less ▲]

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See detailThyroid dysfunction in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Underlying mechanisms and effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on thyroid hormone physiology and metabolism
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Celis, Niko; Klaren, Peter et al

in Aquatic Toxicology (2011), 105

The current study examines the effect of subchronic exposure to a mixture of Aroclor standards on thyroid hormone physiology and metabolism in juvenile sea bass. The contaminant mixture was formulated to ... [more ▼]

The current study examines the effect of subchronic exposure to a mixture of Aroclor standards on thyroid hormone physiology and metabolism in juvenile sea bass. The contaminant mixture was formulated to reflect the persistent organic pollution to which the European sea bass population could conceivably be exposed (0.3, 0.6 and 1.0 g 7PCBs per g food pellets) and higher (10 g 7PCBs per g food pellets). After 120 days of exposure, histomorphometry of thyroid tissue, muscular thyroid hormone concentration and activity of enzymes involved in metabolism of thyroid hormones were assessed. Mean concentrations of 8, 86, 142, 214 and 2279 ng g−1 ww ( 7 ICES PCB congeners) were determined after 120 days exposure. The results show that the effects of PCB exposures on the thyroid system are dose-dependent. Exposure to environmentally relevant doses of PCB (0.3–1.0 g 7PCBs per g food pellets) induced a larger variability of the follicle diameter and stimulated hepatic T4 outer ring deiodinase. Muscular thyroid hormone levels were preserved thanks to the PCB induced changes in T4 dynamics. At 10 times higher concentrations (10 g 7PCBs per g food pellets) an important depression of T3 and T4 levels could be observed which are apparently caused by degenerative histological changes in the thyroid tissue. [less ▲]

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See detailSTRATEGY FOR ASSESSING IMPACTS OF THYROID DISRUPTING CHEMICALS IN TELEOSTEANS
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Klaren, Peter; Celis, Niko et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2011)

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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 detailPersistent organic pollutants in wild seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from the Northeast atlantic coastal regions and relationship with thyroid hormone levels
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Thomé, Jean-Pierre ULg; Das, Krishna ULg

Poster (2008, October 30)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDTs), Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), Aldrin and Dieldrin were analysed in the muscle of sea bass ... [more ▼]

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides like Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDTs), Hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), Aldrin and Dieldrin were analysed in the muscle of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) sampled in coastal regions near several important European river mouths (Garonne, Charente, Loire, Seine and Scheldt). These organochlorinated compounds are known to influence the endocrine system of many fish species and mammals and are thus qualified as endocrine disrupters. To highlight a potentially harmful effect of these compounds on the thyroid function of these fishes, we measured the muscular concentrations of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 by Radio-Immuno-Assay. 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 (from 2422 to 6188 ng.g-1 lw). The measured levels were generally higher than those reported in literature in sea bass from other regions in the Mediterranean Sea. Contamination patterns were different depending on the sampling area and thus the river input of pollutants. The multivariate statistical analysis revealed a significant relationship between the measured persistent organic pollutants and thyroid hormones in muscle. We cannot exclude the assumption that an endocrine disruption of the thyroid related to these pollutants could be the origin of these modifications of the thyroid hormone concentrations. [less ▲]

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See detailHarbour porpoise thyroids: Histological investigations and potential interactions with environmental factors
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Siebert, Ursula; Jepson, Paul et al

in Journal of Wildlife Diseases (2008), 44

The thyroid plays an important role in development and is of primary importance in metabolism and heat loss for cetaceans, including the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Several studies have ... [more ▼]

The thyroid plays an important role in development and is of primary importance in metabolism and heat loss for cetaceans, including the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Several studies have demonstrated that environmental contaminants can alter various aspects of thyroid function in mammals and may contribute to various histologic changes. The present study completes the data set of a 2006 study by Das et al., by performing histological and immunohistologic investigations on thyroids of 36 harbor porpoises from Belgian and United Kingdom waters. The number and mean diameter of follicles (µm) and the relative proportion of follicular, connective, and vascular tissue (%) were quantified in the thyroid gland of each individual. Interfollicular fibrosis has been observed in these thyroid glands, and the collective findings support the hypothesis of an endocrine disruption of thyroid function through organochlorinated compounds. Our study aimed also to reveal potential relationships between thyroid morphometric data and metal levels (Cd, Fe, Zn, Cu, Se, and Hg) using multivariate statistical analysis. The multiple regressions revealed statistically significant relationships between trace elements (cadmium, selenium, and copper) and thyroid fibrosis. The largely negative relationships are interesting findings but do not support the hypothesis that these elements have an adverse effect on thyroid morphometry. Further research is needed to understand the nature of any relationship between organochlorine and trace element exposure and thyroid gland morphology and function in harbor porpoises. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of persistent organic pollutants on the thyroid function of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from the Aegean Sea, is it an endocrine disruption?
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Koutrarkis, Emmanuil; Siebert, Ursula et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (2008), 56(10), 1755-1764

We evaluated the alterations of organochlorinated compounds such as polychlorobiphenyls (PCB), dichloro-diphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE) and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) on the thyroid in wild ... [more ▼]

We evaluated the alterations of organochlorinated compounds such as polychlorobiphenyls (PCB), dichloro-diphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE) and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) on the thyroid in wild and cultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) at environmental concentrations. These compounds influence the endocrine system of many fish species and are qualified as endocrine disruptors. The thyroid seems to be a target organ. Two alteration endpoints: the thyroid histology and the muscular thyroid hormone concentrations, were used simultaneously. High concentrations in PCBs and DDT were detected in muscles, supporting the idea that the Mediterranean fauna could be more polluted than the Atlantic fauna. The high abundance of DDE indicates a progressive degradation of remnant DDT load and the absence of new inputs in this area. Aquaculture sea bass shows a significant higher amount of pollutants on fresh weight basis (especially PCBs) in their muscles compared to the wild sea bass. Those differences may be related mainly to the contaminations of diet. Thyroid parameters vary between wild and aquaculture sea bass, wild sea bass were characterized by higher follicle diameters, epithelial cell heights and muscular T4 concentrations. A significant relationship between persistent organic pollutants (muscular PCBs and DDT concentration) and the different thyroid parameters (diameters of follicles, epithelial cell heights and muscular T4 levels) could be observed, which support the hypothesis that these compounds have an adverse impact on thyroid morphometry and function. [less ▲]

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See detailHarbour porpoises stranded on the Dutch coast in 2007: Impact of by cath and related lesions
Grondin, Alexia; Camphuysen, K.; Ghisbain, T. et al

Poster (2008)

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