Target tissue selectivity and burdens of diverse classes of brominated and chlorinated contaminants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland.Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Feb 01; 42(3):752-9.ES
The tissue-specific composition of sum classes of brominated and chlorinated contaminants and metabolic/degradation byproducts was determined in adult male and female polar bears from East Greenland. Significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of sigma-PCBs, various other organochlorines such as sigma-CHL, p,p'-DDE, sigma-CBz, sigma-HCHs, octachlorostyrene (OCS), sigma-mirex, dieldrin, the flame retardants sigma-PBDEs, and total-(alpha)-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), sigma-methylsulfonyl (MeSO2)-PCBs and 3-MeSO2-p,p'-DDE, were found in the adipose and liver tissues relative to whole blood and brain. In contrast, sigma-hydroxyl (OH)-PCB, 4-OH-heptachlorostyrene and sigma-OH-PBDE concentrations were significantly highest (p < 0.05) in whole blood, whereas the highest concentrations of sigma-OH-PBBs were found in the adipose tissue. Based on the total concentrations of all organohalogens in all three tissues and blood, the combined body burden was estimated to be 1.34 +/- 0.12 g, where > 91% of this amount was accounted for by the adipose tissue alone, followed by the liver, whole blood, and brain. These results show that factors such as protein association and lipid solubility appear to be differentially influencing the toxicokinetics, in terms of tissue composition/ localization and burden, of organohalogen classes with respect to chemical structure and properties such as the type of halogenation (e.g., chlorination or bromination), and the presence or absence of additional phenyl group substituents (e.g., MeO and OH groups). The tissue- and blood-specific accumulation (or retention) among organohalogen classes indicates that exposure and any potential contaminant-mediated effects in these polar bears are likely tissue or blood specific.