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

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 µg.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 foetuses - through reduced glutathione -, counteracting the toxic effects linked to the particularly high quantities of methyl-Hg to which marine mammals are naturally exposed.
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Environment International, Elsevier, 2007, 33 (8), pp.1021-1028. 〈10.1016/j.envint.2007.05.008〉
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00226834
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Virginie Lahaye, Paco Bustamante, Willy Dabin, Carine Churlaud, Florence Caurant. Trace element levels in foetus-mother pairs of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded along the French coasts. Environment International, Elsevier, 2007, 33 (8), pp.1021-1028. 〈10.1016/j.envint.2007.05.008〉. 〈hal-00226834〉

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