[MARMAM] New publication on environmental contaminants and their effects in Hawaiian Odontocetes
kmcfoltz at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 18:51:22 PDT 2014
We are delighted to announce a new paper on environmental contaminants and
their effects in endangered false killer whales and nine other species of
odontocetes in Hawai'i.
Foltz KM, Baird RW, Ylitalo GM, Jensen BA. 2014. Cytochrome P4501A1
expression in blubber biopsies of endangered false killer whales (*Pseudorca
crassidens*) and nine other odontocete species from Hawai‘i. Ecotoxicology.
Odontocetes (toothed whales) are considered sentinel species in the marine
environment because of their high trophic position, long life spans, and
blubber that accumulates lipophilic contaminants. Cytochrome P4501A1
(CYP1A1) is a biomarker of exposure and molecular effects of certain
persistent organic pollutants. Immunohistochemistry was used to visualize
CYP1A1 expression in blubber biopsies collected by non-lethal sampling
methods from 10 species of free-ranging Hawaiian odontocetes: short-finned
pilot whale, melon-headed whale, pygmy killer whale, common bottlenose
dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, Blainville’s
beaked whale, Cuvier’s beaked whale, sperm whale, and endangered main
Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale. Significantly higher levels of
CYP1A1 were observed in false killer whales and rough-toothed dolphins
compared to melon-headed whales, and in general, trophic position appears
to influence CYP1A1 expression patterns in particular species groups. No
significant differences in CYP1A1 were found based on age class or sex
across all samples. However, within male false killer whales, juveniles
expressed significantly higher levels of CYP1A1 when compared to adults.
Total polychlorinated biphenyl (∑PCBs) concentrations in 84 % of false
killer whales exceeded proposed threshold levels for health effects, and
∑PCBs correlated with CYP1A1 expression. There was no significant
relationship between PCB toxic equivalent quotient and CYP1A1 expression,
suggesting that this response may be influenced by agonists other than the
dioxin-like PCBs measured in this study. No significant differences were
found for CYP1A1 expression among social clusters of false killer whales.
This work provides a foundation for future health monitoring of the
endangered stock of false killer whales and other Hawaiian odontocetes.
Reprints available on request.
Kerry Foltz et al.
Kerry M. Foltz, MS, MA
kerry_foltz at charleston.k12.sc.us
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