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Effects of in vitro exposure of beluga whale leukocytes to selected organochlorines

, : Effects of in vitro exposure of beluga whale leukocytes to selected organochlorines. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A 55(7): 479-493

The effects of in vitro exposure to different organochlorines were evaluated on immune functions of beluga whale peripheral blood leukocytes and splenocytes. The effects of different concentrations of four different congeners of PCBs (138, 153, 180, and 169) as well as two DDT metabolites (p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE) were evaluated on phagocytosis and cell proliferation. The effects of dioxins and mixtures of organochlorines were also evaluated on cell proliferation. The different compounds tested had no marked effect on phagocytosis. PCB 138 and p,p'-DDT, but not PCB 153, PCB 180, PCB 169, and p,p'-DDE, reduced significantly the proliferative response of beluga splenocytes cultured either with or without phytohemagglutinin A (PHA). Proliferation of beluga splenocytes was not markedly affected by exposure to 5 ppm of PCB 138, 153, 180, and 169 separately. Exposure to a mixture of congeners 138, 153, and 180 (5 ppm each) significantly reduced splenocytes proliferation, but not the mixture of congeners 138, 153, 180, and 169 (5 ppm each). TCDD did not affect cell proliferation in our study. The reduced proliferation of beluga cells exposed in vitro to mixtures of organochlorines at concentrations in the range of those observed in tissues of St. Lawrence belugas might provide a basis to support the hypothesis that contaminants induce immunosuppression in these animals.


PMID: 9860322

DOI: 10.1080/009841098158287

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