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:2/8/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... by 2021 from $8.3 billion in 2016 at a ... to 2021. Report Includes - An overview of ... market trends, with data from 2015 and 2016, and ... - Segmentation of the market on the basis of ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... , February 7, 2017 Ipsidy ... Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a ... transaction processing services, is pleased to announce the following ... Effective January 31, 2017, Philip D. ... Directors, CEO and President.  An experienced payment industry professional ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm announces its ... to fill a critical niche in technical and policy ... Mark Crego and Janice Kephart together ... that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, private industry, ... has a common theme born from a shared passion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... GREENWICH, Conn. , Feb. 16, ... focused on venture growth investments in biotechnology and ... Josh Richardson , M.D. to Managing Director. ... companies.  He is a board observer at InfaCare ... Longitude,s investments in Aimmune Therapeutics, Akebia Therapeutics, Cadence ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017   Capricor Therapeutics, ... clinical-stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class biological therapies for ... it has elected to terminate its license agreement ... receptor agonists, including Cenderitide. "Our decision ... as we prioritize our efforts to advance our ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... DIEGO , Feb. 16, 2017  Dermata ... innovative products to treat a variety of dermatological ... million Series 1a financing and entered into a ... (SVB).  Dermata intends to use the capital for ... making major advancements in the treatment of serious ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  Rhythm, a biopharmaceutical ... deficiencies that result in life-threatening metabolic disorders, ... million mezzanine round of financing with existing ... Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Pfizer Venture Investments, ... healthcare investment fund. Rhythm will use the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: