Reference : Mercury immune toxicity in harbour seals: Links to in vitro toxicity
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Life sciences : Biochemistry, biophysics & molecular biology
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/815
Mercury immune toxicity in harbour seals: Links to in vitro toxicity
English
Das, Krishna mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Océanologie >]
Siebert, Ursula [University of Kiel > Research and Technology Center Westcoast > > >]
Gillet, Audrey [Université de Liège - ULg - ULG > Sciences et Gestion de l'Environnement > Océanologie > 2006 >]
Dupont, Aurélie mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Océanologie >]
Di-Poï, Carole [Université de Liège - ULg - ULG > Sciences et Gestion de l'Environnement > Océanologie > 2004 >]
Fonfara, Sonja [GKSS Research Centre > Institute for Coastal Research > > >]
Mazzucchelli, Gabriel mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > > Centre interfac. d'analyse des résidus en traces (CART) >]
De Pauw, Edwin mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de chimie (sciences) > Chimie physique, spectrométrie de masse >]
Gillet, Marie-Claire mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques > Histologie - Cytologie - Département des sciences biomédicales et précliniques >]
2008
Environmental Health : A Global Access Science Source
BioMed Central
7
52
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
1476-069X
[en] mercury ; marine mammals ; immunotoxicity ; harbour seal ; Phoca vitulina ; blood ; cytokines ; proteomics ; PBMCs
[en] Background
Mercury is known to bioaccumulate and to magnify in marine mammals, which is a cause of great concern in terms of their general health. In particular, the immune system is known to be susceptible to long-term mercury exposure. The aims of the present study were (1) to determine the mercury level in the blood of free-ranging harbour seals from the North Sea and (2) to examine the link between methylmercury in vitro exposure and immune functions using seal and human mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (T-lymphocytes).
Methods
Total mercury was analysed in the blood of 22 harbour seals. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from seals (n = 11) and from humans (n = 9). Stimulated lymphocytes of both species were exposed to functional tests (proliferation, metabolic activity, radioactive precursor incorporation) under increasing doses of methylmercury (0.1 to 10 µM). The expression of cytokines (IL-2; IL-4 and TGF-beta was investigated in seal lymphocytes by RT-PCR and by real time quantitative PCR (n = 5) at methylmercury concentrations of 0.2 and 1 µM. Finally, proteomics analysis was attempted on human lymphocytes (cytoplasmic fraction) in order to identify biochemical pathways of toxicity at concentration of 1 µM (n = 3).
Results
The results showed that the number of seal lymphocytes, viability, metabolic activity, DNA and RNA synthesis were reduced in vitro, suggesting deleterious effects of methylmercury concentrations naturally encountered in free-ranging seals. Similar results were found for human lymphocytes. Functional tests showed that a 1 µM concentration was the critical concentration above which lymphocyte activity, proliferation and survival were compromised. The expression of IL-2 and TGF-beta mRNA was weaker in exposed seal lymphocytes compared to control cells (0.2 and 1 µM). Proteomics showed some variation in the protein expression profile (e.g. vimentin).
Centre Interfacultaire de Recherches en Océanologie - MARE
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Marie-Curie Reintegration grant
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/815
10.1186/1476-069X-7-52
http://www.ehjournal.net/content/7/1/52

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