Trace element levels in foetus-mother pairs of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded along the French coasts

Type Article
Date 2007-11
Language English
Author(s) Lahaye V1, Bustamante Paco1, 4, Dabin W2, Churlaud C3, Caurant Florence1, 4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Rochelle, IFREMER, CNRS, UMR 6217,Ctr Rech Ecosyst Littoraux Anthropises, F-17042 La Rochelle, France.
2 : Inst Littoral & Environm, Ctr Rech Mammiferes Marins, F-17000 La Rochelle, France.
3 : Univ La Rochelle, Ctr Commun Anal, F-17071 La Rochelle, France.
Source Environment International (0160-4120) (Elsevier), 2007-11 , Vol. 33 , N. 8 , P. 1021-1028
DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2007.05.008
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) North eastern Atlantic, Pregnancy, Selenium, Mercury, Marine mammals
Abstract Tissues of foetus-mother pairs of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded along the French coasts (Bay of Biscay and English Channel) were analysed for their Cd, Cu, Hg, Se and Zn contents. In the kidneys, foetal Cd levels were extremely low, and strong relationships between Cu and Zn suggested the involvement of metallothioneins since early foetal life. The results also indicated a limited maternal transfer of Hg during pregnancy since levels in the tissues of foetuses were below 1 mu g g(-1) w.wt. However, hepatic Hg levels in foetuses increased with body length, and were also proportionate to maternal hepatic, renal and muscular Hg levels. Lastly, affinities between Hg and Se in tissues would participate in Hg neutralisation in both mothers-through tiemannite granules- and fetuses-through reduced glutathione-counteracting the toxic effects linked to the particularly high quantities of methyl-Hg to which marine mammals are naturally exposed. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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