Navigation Links
Mercury pollution causes immune damage to harbor seals
Date:10/20/2008

Methylmercury (MeHg), the predominant form of mercury found in the blood of marine mammals and fish-eating communities, could be more damaging to seals than has previously been thought. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health shows that MeHg harms T-lymphocytes, key cells in a seal's immune system. Similar results were also found for human lymphocytes.

Mercury exposure is known to occur as a result of man-made pollution and natural events such as volcanic eruptions. According to the lead author of this study, Krishna Das of the Universit de Lige, Belgium, "Mercury is known to bioaccumulate and to magnify in marine mammals, which is a cause of great concern in terms of their general health. In particular, the immune system is known to be susceptible to long-term mercury exposure". In order to determine the scale of this problem, the authors carried out analysis of the blood mercury levels of harbour seals caught in the North Sea and tested the effects of MeHg in lab experiments.

By applying increasing doses of MeHg to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, the authors determined that the amount of mercury found in the blood of the seals studied was enough to cause damage to the important immune system cells. They said, "Although the in vitro approach utilised in this investigation represents an extreme reductionism relative to the complex situation in the intact organism, it provides an insight into the specific effects of mercury pollution."

Immune system damage may already have taken a toll on the population of harbour seals. The 1998 and 2002 outbreaks of phocine distemper virus, known to have killed thousands of seals, were linked to the deleterious effects of pollution on the seals' ability to fight the infection.


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-707-94804
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition
2. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
3. New study shows fish respond quickly to changes in mercury deposition
4. New study shows fish respond quickly to changes in mercury deposition
5. International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition
6. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
7. Waterborne carbon increases threat of environmental mercury
8. Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
9. Washington University, 2 industries, team to clean up mercury emissions
10. Dental chair a possible source of neurotoxic mercury waste
11. Study shows mercury levels from products decreasing, though still at dangerous levels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2017)... -- Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special Counsel ... of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases the ... Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into ... President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more notoriety ... travel ban, it is important that our national discourse ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics ... and year ended December 31, 2016. Revenue ... to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. Operating ... compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. ... million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to $1.8 ...
(Date:2/7/2017)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce that the latest release ... flexible and award winning eClinical solution, is now available ... is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) clinical research technology platform ... also delivers an entire suite of eClinical tools to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Staten Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... exponential rate. Founded in late 2014, FireflySci had the goal of bringing their ... 2017, that goal continues to shape the path that FireflySci is going on as ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ("OncoSec") (NASDAQ: ONCS), ... a Key Opinion Leader event to highlight new clinical ... poster presentation at the upcoming 2017 ASCO-SITC Immuno-Oncology Symposium ... will be held in-person and via live webcast on ... AM PST at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... BellBrook ... portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. ... their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of action, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017  In Atlanta, it seems everyone has a ... intertwine to create an expressive and dynamic community unlike any ... and contribute to it. With their newest ... seeks to carry on that tradition with a unique, ... salon is the newest of 13 nationwide locations, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: