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Associations between mercury and hepatic, renal, endocrine, and hematological parameters in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the eastern coast of Florida and South Carolina.

Authors
  • Schaefer, Adam M
  • Stavros, Hui-Chen W
  • Bossart, Gregory D
  • Fair, Patricia A
  • Goldstein, Juli D
  • Reif, John S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2011
Volume
61
Issue
4
Pages
688–695
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00244-011-9651-5
PMID: 21340575
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We evaluated associations between total mercury (Hg) concentrations in blood and skin and endocrine, hepatic, renal, and hematological parameters in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Dolphins in Indian River Lagoon, FL had higher concentrations of Hg in blood (0.67 μg/l wet wt) and skin (7.24 μg/g dry wt) compared with those from Charleston Harbor, SC (0.15 μg/l wet wt, 1.68 μg/g dry wt). An inverse relationship was observed between blood and skin Hg concentrations and total thyroxine, triiodothyronine, absolute numbers of lymphocytes, eosinophils, and platelets. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), blood urea nitrogen, and gamma-glutamyl transferase increased with increasing concentrations of Hg in blood and skin; lactate dehydrogenase and neutrophils increased with concentrations in skin only. Hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin increased with increasing concentrations of Hg in blood. Selenium was negatively associated with free T4, progesterone, and absolute numbers of monocytes, and positively correlated with absolute numbers of eosinophils and lymphocytes, and mean corpuscular volume. The results suggest the potential for a deleterious effect of Hg in highly exposed dolphins.

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