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Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in grey seals during their first year of life--are they thyroid hormone endocrine disrupters?

Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)

Adipose Tissue, chemistry, Animals, Cholesterol, blood, Environmental Exposure, Hydrocarbons, Brominated, toxicity, Minerals, Phenyl Ethers, Seals, Earless, physiology, Seawater, Serum Albumin, analysis, Thyroid Hormones, Water Pollutants, Chemical

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      Blubber biopsy and blood samples were collected from weaned grey seal pups and juveniles in 1998 and 1999. The relationship between the concentration of total PDBEs in the blubber and the circulating concentrations of serum proteins, minerals and thyroid hormones was investigated. Fifty-four post-weaned pups were sampled and 55 first year juveniles, of which 13 were recaptured post-weaned pups. The median concentration of total PBDEs in the pups' blubber was 170 and 460 ng g(-1) in the first-year animals. Total blubber PBDEs contributed significantly to the prediction of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations, after controlling for age and condition. Cholesterol and albumin concentrations were also positively related to blubber PBDEs. The results of this study suggest a link between thyroid hormones and exposure to PBDEs in grey seals during their first year of life. Such an association is not alone sufficient evidence for a cause and effect relationship, however it is in accordance with the hypothesis that these compounds are endocrine disrupters in grey seal pups.

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