Organohalogen and metabolically-derived contaminants and associations with whole body constituents in Norwegian Arctic glaucous gulls.Environ Int. 2007 Aug; 33(6):823-30.EI
Comprehensive surveys of organohalogen contaminants have been conducted in various tissues and blood of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), a top scavenger-predator species in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic. However, the physico-chemical properties of organohalogens (e.g., type and degree of halogenation and the presence or absence of additional phenyl group substituents) that may influence toxicokinetics, and subsequently tissue-specific accumulation, have yet to be studied in this species. We investigated the concentrations, total body burdens, and compositional patterns of legacy chlorinated compounds (PCBs and chlordanes (CHLs)), metabolically-derived PCBs (methylsulfonyl (MeSO(2))- and OH-PCBs), brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), total-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)), and PBDE metabolites and/or naturally-occurring compounds with similar structures (MeO- and OH-PBDEs) in liver, blood and whole body homogenate samples of adult glaucous gulls (n=19) from Svalbard. Further, we examined the distribution of these organohalogens and metabolites in relation to whole body composition of glaucous gulls, i.e., the total water, protein, lipid and mineral contents in whole homogenate carcasses. The total body burden of organohalogens and metabolites in glaucous gulls ranged between 3.3 and 33.0 mg. Compound class distribution showed that the relative proportions of sum (Sigma) OH-PCB and SigmaOH-PBDE to the total organohalogen concentrations were significantly highest in blood. Conversely, the SigmaCHL and SigmaPCB showed generally higher proportions in the lipid-rich liver as well as in whole body homogenates. No significant difference in the compositional patterns of individual congeners/compounds was found among tissues/blood, with the exception of the classes comprised of less polar brominated compounds (PBDEs, PBBs and total-(alpha)-HBCD). Total proteins isolated from the whole body homogenates of glaucous gulls were significantly associated to the proportions of SigmaOH-PCB and SigmaPBDE. A non-significant positive association was found between total lipids and the SigmaPCB proportions. The present study suggests that both protein association and lipid solubility are important concomitant factors to be considered in the toxicokinetics and fate of contaminants as a function of chemical structure and properties, e.g., chlorination, bromination and the presence of other phenyl substituents such as OH group. An enhanced, selective retention of these organohalogen classes in given tissues/body compartments may thus lead to site-specific toxicological actions and adverse effects in the highly-contaminated Svalbard glaucous gulls.