(Table 1) Concentration of PCB and other contaminants in blood plasma of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard

  • Arno C Gutleb (Contributor)
  • P.H. Cenijn (Contributor)
  • Martin van Velzen (Contributor)
  • Elisabeth Lie (Contributor)
  • Erik Ropstad (Contributor)
  • Janneche Utne Skaare (Contributor)
  • Tina Malmberg (Contributor)
  • Åke Bergman (Contributor)
  • Geir W. Gabrielsen (Contributor)
  • Juliette Legler (Contributor)



Abstract: Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE) flame-retardants alter their toxicological properties and these metabolites are known to interfere with the binding of thyroid hormone (TH) to transthyretin (TTR) in rodents and humans. In polar bear plasma samples no binding of [125I]-T4 to TTR was observed after incubation and PAGE separation. Incubation of the plasma samples with [14C]-4-OH-CB107, a compound with a higher binding affinity to TTR than the endogenous ligand T4 resulted in competitive binding as proven by the appearance of a radio labeled TTR peak in the gel. Plasma incubation with T4 up to 1 mM, a concentration that is not physiologically relevant anymore did not result in any visible competition. These results give evidence that the binding sites on TTR for T4 in wild living polar bears are completely saturated. Such saturation of binding sites can explain observed lowered levels of THs and could lead to contaminant transport into the developing fetus.

Category: geoscientificInformation

Source: Supplement to: Gutleb, Arno C; Cenijn, Peter; van Velzen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Ropstad, Erik; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Malmberg, Tina; Bergman, Åke; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Legler, Juliette (2010): In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Environmental Science & Technology, 44(8), 3149-3154, https://doi.org/10.1021/es903029j

Supplemental Information: Concentrations are given per gram wet weight. Data extracted in the frame of a joint ICSTI/PANGAEA IPY effort, see http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.150150

Coverage: EVENT LABEL: * LATITUDE: 78.900000 * LONGITUDE: 18.010000 * LOCATION: Svalbard * DEVICE: Biological sample
Date made available18 Apr 2010
PublisherUnknown Publisher

Cite this