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Cadmium-containing granules in kidney tissue of the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhyncus acutus) off the Faroe Islands

  • Gallien, Isabelle
  • Caurant, Florence
  • Bordes, Monique
  • Bustamante, Paco
  • Miramand, Pierre
  • Fernandez, B.
  • Quellard, N.
  • Babin, P.
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2001
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Top predators from the northern sub-polar and polar areas exhibit high cadmium concentrations in their tissues. In the aim to reveal possible adverse effects, samples of five Atlantic white-sided dolphins Lagenorhyncus acutus have been collected on the occasion of the drive fishery in the Faroe Islands, for ultrastructural investigations and energy dispersive X-ray microanalyses. Cadmium concentrations were less than the limit of detection in both immature individuals and ranged from 22.7 to 31.1 µg g-1 wet weight in the mature individuals. Two individuals with the highest cadmium concentrations exhibited electron dense mineral concretions in the basal membranes of the proximal tubules. They are spherocrystals made up of numerous strata mineral deposit of calcium and phosphorus together with cadmium. Cadmium has been detected with a molar ratio of Ca:Cd of 10:1 in the middle of these concretions. To our knowledge, this is the first report of such granules in a wild vertebrate. The role of these granules in the detoxification of the metal and the possible pathological effects are considered.

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