[MARMAM] New publication on the impacts of persistent organic pollutants on blubber tissue function in wild seal pups

Kelly Robinson kjr33 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Mon Dec 10 00:31:06 PST 2018

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce a new publication demonstrating the impacts of persistent organic pollutants on blubber tissue function in the first weeks of life in wild seal pups. The paper also explores the differences in metabolic function across different depths of blubber tissue and in feeding or fasting conditions:

Kelly J. Robinson, Ailsa J. Hall, Cathy Debier, Gauthier Eppe, Jean-Pierre Thomé, and Kimberley A. Bennett (2018)

Persistent Organic Pollutant Burden, Experimental POP Exposure, and Tissue Properties Affect Metabolic Profiles of Blubber from Gray Seal Pups

Environmental Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04240


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic, ubiquitous, resist breakdown, bioaccumulate in living tissue, and biomagnify in food webs. POPs can also alter energy balance in humans and wildlife. Marine mammals experience high POP concentrations, but consequences for their tissue metabolic characteristics are unknown. We used blubber explants from wild, gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups to examine impacts of intrinsic tissue POP burden and acute experimental POP exposure on adipose metabolic characteristics. Glucose use, lactate production, and lipolytic rate differed between matched inner and outer blubber explants from the same individuals and between feeding and natural fasting. Glucose use decreased with blubber dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCB) and increased with acute experimental POP exposure. Lactate production increased with DL-PCBs during feeding, but decreased with DL-PCBs during fasting. Lipolytic rate increased with blubber dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDX) in fasting animals, but declined with DDX when animals were feeding. Our data show that POP burdens are high enough in seal pups to alter adipose function early in life, when fat deposition and mobilization are vital. Such POP-induced alterations to adipose metabolic properties may significantly alter energy balance regulation in marine top predators, with the potential for long-term impacts on fitness and survival.


The article will be open access after a 12 month embargo, if you would like to know more about the study please contact either myself (kjr33 at st-andrews.ac.uk<mailto:kjr33 at st-andrews.ac.uk>) or Dr Kimberley Bennett (k.bennett at abertay.ac.uk).

Kind regards

Dr Kelly Robinson

Research Fellow

Sea Mammal Research Unit

Scottish Oceans Institute

University of St Andrews

KY16 8LB

Tel: +44(0)1334 462635

Twitter: @KJRScience

Lab Twitter: @_SMRU_

For more information about my research please visit: https://kellyrobinsonscience.wordpress.com/

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland : No SC013532
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20181210/dea6db54/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list