Reference : Combined Effects of Experimental Heavy-Metal Contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and St...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Combined Effects of Experimental Heavy-Metal Contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and Starvation on Quail's Body Condition: Parallelism with a Wild Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) Population Found Stranded at the Belgian Coast
Debacker, Virginie[Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Ecologie animale et écotoxicologie >]
[en] Heavy metals ; Common quail ; Common guillemot ; Cachexia ; Belgian coast
[en] Combined effects of heavy-metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation were tested on common quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) and used as a model for comparison with a wild common guillemot (Uria aalge) population found stranded at the Belgian coast. Appropriate heavy-metal levels were given to the quails to obtain concentrations similar to those found in the seabirds's tissues. The contaminated animals were then starved for 4 d to simulate the evident malnutrition symptoms observed at the guillemot's level. In such conditions, food intake and total-body weight are shown to decrease in contaminated individuals with simultaneous significant hepatic and renal increase of the heavy-metal concentrations. Like guillemots, higher heavy-metal levels were observed in those contam- inated quails that had also developed a cachectic status characterized by a general atrophy of their pectoral muscle and complete absence of subcutaneous and/or abdominal fat depots. Although likely the result of a general protein catabolism during starvation, it is suggested that these higher metal levels could as well enhance a general muscle wasting process (cachectic status).
‘Impulse Programme in Marine Sciences supported by the Belgian state - The Prime Minister’s Services - Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs. (MN/DD/50 and MN/DD/51).