[MARMAM] Cytokine expression in porpoises - Biomarkers for health assessment

Lehnert-Sobotta, Kristina Kristina.Lehnert at tiho-hannover.de
Thu Mar 14 09:39:37 PDT 2019

Dear colleagues,
My co-authors and I are pleased to share the recent publication of our paper in Environmental Pollution:

Lehnert, K., Siebert, U., Reißmann, K., Bruhn, R., McLachlan, M. S., Müller, G., ... & Beineke, A. (2019). Cytokine expression and lymphocyte proliferative capacity in diseased harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)–Biomarkers for health assessment in wildlife cetaceans. Environmental Pollution 247, 783-791

Abstract: Harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the North and Baltic Seas are exposed to anthropogenic influences including acoustic stress and environmental contaminants. In order to evaluate immune responses in healthy and diseased harbor porpoise cells, cytokine expression analyses and lymphocyte proliferation assays, together with toxicological analyses were performed in stranded and bycaught animals as well as in animals kept in permanent human care. Severely diseased harbor porpoises showed a reduced proliferative capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes together with diminished transcription of transforming growth factor-β and tumor necrosis factor-α compared to healthy controls. Toxicological analyses revealed accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in harbor porpoise blood samples. Correlation analyses between blood organochlorine levels and immune parameters revealed no direct effects of xenobiotics upon lymphocyte proliferation or cytokine transcription, respectively. Results reveal an impaired function of peripheral blood leukocytes in severely diseased harbor porpoises, indicating immune exhaustion and increased disease susceptibility.

A PDF copy can be obtained from the authors on request!
Kind regards,
Kristina Lehnert

Dr. Kristina Lehnert
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
Werftstr. 6│25761 Buesum│Germany
Phone +49 (0) 511 856 8171
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