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19 November 2008
Article (Scientific journals)
Harbour porpoise thyroids: Histological investigations and potential interactions with environmental factors
Schnitzler, Joseph  ; Siebert, Ursula; Jepson, Paul et al.
2008 • In Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 44, p. 888-901
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Keywords :
Endocrine disruption; Phocoena phocoena; thryroid; organochlorine; metals; Harbour porpoise
Abstract :
[en] The thyroid plays an important role in development and is of primary importance in metabolism and heat loss for cetaceans, including the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Several studies have demonstrated that environmental contaminants can alter various aspects of thyroid function in mammals and may contribute to various histologic changes. The present study completes the data set of a 2006 study by Das et al., by performing histological and immunohistologic investigations on thyroids of 36 harbor porpoises from Belgian and United Kingdom waters. The number and mean diameter of follicles (µm) and the relative proportion of follicular, connective, and vascular tissue (%) were quantified in the thyroid gland of each individual. Interfollicular fibrosis has been observed in these thyroid glands, and the collective findings support the hypothesis of an endocrine disruption of thyroid function through organochlorinated compounds. Our study aimed also to reveal potential relationships between thyroid morphometric data and metal levels (Cd, Fe, Zn, Cu, Se, and Hg) using multivariate statistical analysis. The multiple regressions revealed statistically significant relationships between trace elements (cadmium, selenium, and copper) and thyroid fibrosis. The largely negative relationships are interesting findings but do not support the hypothesis that these elements have an adverse effect on thyroid morphometry. Further research is needed to understand the nature of any relationship between organochlorine and trace element exposure and thyroid gland morphology and function in harbor porpoises.
Disciplines :
Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Author, co-author :
Schnitzler, Joseph ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Océanologie
Siebert, Ursula;  Research- and Technology Centre Westcoast > Christian-Albrecht-University Kiel > Büsum, Germany
Jepson, Paul;  Institute of Zoology > Zoological Society of London > Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY United Kingdom.
Beineke, Andreas;  Institute of Pathology > University of Veterinary Medicine > Bünteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany
Jauniaux, Thierry ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de morphologie et pathologie > Département de morphologie et pathologie
Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Océanologie
Das, Krishna  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Océanologie
Language :
English
Title :
Harbour porpoise thyroids: Histological investigations and potential interactions with environmental factors
Publication date :
October 2008
Journal title :
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publisher :
Wildlife Disease Association, Lawrence, United States - Kansas
Volume :
44
Pages :
888-901
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
FRIA - Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture

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