[MARMAM] New Publications

antje.kakuschke at gkss.de antje.kakuschke at gkss.de
Wed Jan 23 03:48:52 PST 2008

Dear all,

here are two new publications to harbour seals of the North Sea.

Kakuschke, A.; Valentine-Thon, E.; Fonfara, S.; Griesel, S.; Rosenberger, 
T.; Siebert, U.; Prange, A. Metal-induced impairment of the cellular 
immunity of newborn harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). 2008. Archives of 
Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. DOI: 

The cellular immunity of newborn harbor seals and the influence of 
pollutants are rarely investigated. This study evaluated the lymphocyte 
proliferation using a lymphocyte proliferation test (LTT) to understand 
the dynamics of immune response in seal pups of varying ages from the 
moment they arrived in a seal center after active beaching until their 
release into wildlife 3 months later after rehabilitation. Moreover, the 
effect of various metals (Ag, Al, Au, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, different Hg 
compounds, Mo, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pt, Sn, Ti) on lymphocyte proliferation in 
terms of immunosuppression and hypersensitivity was investigated. First, a 
strong lymphocyte proliferation in newborns as a reflection of relative 
immunocompetence was found. Second, different metal-induced influences on 
lymphocyte proliferation such as specific inhibition by Be, Cd, Hg, and Sn 
as well as stimulation induced by Mo and Ni were determined. For seals 
tested repeatedly, the suppressive effect was detected in newborns but not 
found in the same animals when they were older and had become 
immunologically competent. Summarizing, the lymphocyte proliferation used 
as a marker in this investigation provided useful immunological 
information on these developing animals, and its application for 
toxicological studies on pollutants can be recommended.

PDFs are available online at (online first):

Griesel, S.; Kakuschke, A.; Siebert, U.; Prange, A. Trace element 
concentration in blood of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from the Wadden 
Sea. 2008. The Science of the Total 

Concentrations of 23 elements (Be, Al, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, 
Cu, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Pd, Cd, Sn, Pt, Pb) were evaluated in whole 
blood samples of live harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from two different 
locations in the Wadden Sea, the Lorenzenplate in Germany, and the Danish 
island Rømø. Elemental blood levels were compared to data from literature 
of seals, other marine mammals and humans. While homeostatically 
controlled elements showed no differences, concentrations of As, Cr, Mn, 
Mo, Se, and V were higher than human levels. Furthermore, animals from 
both locations showed significant geographical differences in whole blood 
concentrations of Al, Mn, Cu, and Pt. These findings could be explained by 
differences in feeding areas. The element pattern was not affected by 
gender. In conclusion, these findings indicate an impact of the 
environment on biochemical blood parameters of the harbor seals. The 
significant differences of elements in blood samples of two groups of 
seals, which were associated with geographical variations of prey support 
the use of element pattern in blood as tool for investigation of 
environmental impact on seals.

PDFs are available online at (article in press):

Please direct further questions to:

Dr. Kakuschke, Antje
Marine Bioanalytical Chemistry
Institute for Coastal Research
GKSS- Research Center Geesthacht
Max-Planck-Strasse 1
D-21502 Geesthacht, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 4152 /  87 1839
Fax: +49 (0) 4152 /  87 1875
E-mail: antje.kakuschke at gkss.de
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