[MARMAM] new right whale paper

John Wise john.wise at maine.edu
Tue Jan 15 19:55:18 PST 2008

Dear All,


We are pleased to announce the publication of our article on chromium and
Northern right whales in Mutation Research:


Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to the North Atlantic right
whale (Eubalaena glacialis) lung and testes fibroblasts.  John Pierce Wise,
Sandra S. Wise, Scott Kraus, Fariba Shaffiey, Marijke Grau, Tania Li Chen,
Christopher Perkins, W. Douglas Thompson, Tongzhang Zheng, Yawei Zhang,
Tracy Romano and Todd O'Hara. Mutation Research 650:30-38, 2008.



Although hexavalent chromium is a known genotoxic agent in human and
terrestrial mammals and is present in seawater and air, its effects on
marine mammals including the endangered North Atlantic right whale are
unknown and untested. The present study investigated the cytotoxic and
genotoxic effects of hexavalent chromium in primary cultured North Atlantic
right whale lung and testes fibroblasts and levels of total chromium in skin
biopsies from North Atlantic right whales. Cytotoxicity was measured by
clonogenic survival assay. Genotoxicity was measured as production of
chromosome aberrations. Tissue chromium levels were determined from skin
biopsies of healthy free-ranging whales in the Bay of Fundy using
inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. Hexavalent
chromium-induced concentration-dependent increases in right whale lung and
testes fibroblast cytotoxicity with the testes more sensitive to the
cytotoxic effects. It also induced concentration-dependent increases in
chromosomal aberrations in both cell types with no significant difference in
sensitivity. Skin biopsy data indicate that North Atlantic right whales are
exposed to chromium and accumulate a range of 4.9-10 ug Cr/g tissue with a
mean of 7.1 ug/g. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to North
Atlantic right whale cells. The whales have tissue chromium levels that are
concerning. These data support a hypothesis that chromium may be a concern
for the health of the North Atlantic right whales. Considering these data
with chromium chemistry, whale physiology and atmospheric chromium levels
further suggest that inhalation may be an important exposure route.


Reprint requests should be addressed to me.




John Pierce Wise, Sr., Ph.D.
Director, Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health
Professor of Toxicology and Molecular Epidemiology,
Department of Applied Medical Sciences

University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St.
PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300

Phone (207) 228-8050
FAX (207) 228-8518
Email  <mailto:John.Wise at usm.maine.edu> John.Wise at usm.maine.edu
 <http://www.usm.maine.edu/toxicology> www.usm.maine.edu/toxicology


Fedex address:

178 Science Building

96 Falmouth St.

Portland, ME 04103


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