The Loire estuary runs through important urban sites with shipping, industrial and agricultural activities, being the receptacle of diffusive pollutants comprising, a mixture of contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). This work was set out to evaluate the occurrence of thyroid endocrine disruptors in sediments of this estuary. Sediments were collected in September 2012 and April 2013, in subtidal zones along the estuary. Targeted chemical analyses of five classes of pollutants, i.e. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylphenols (APs), and bisphenol A (BPA) were performed in sediment extracts. Extracts were further tested for their thyroid hormone (TH) disrupting potency to compete with TH for binding to its transporter protein transthyretin (TTR). The Haute-Indre site was characterized by a significant PAH contamination whereas Saint-Nazaire, Bellevue and Rezé would be particularly contaminated by PCBs. These observations could be linked to the different type of anthropogenic activities taking place close to these sites. Donges, Mindin and Paimboeuf were the sampling sites displaying the lowest contamination in PAHs, APs, PCBs and PBDEs. No inter-site difference could be observed for TTR-binding activity, which should be attributed to different compounds than the chemically analyzed compounds, as confirmed by PCA analyses. Furthermore, the TTR-binding potencies of the extracts were relatively low compared to data from literature. More investigations on the quantification of PCB and PBDE hydroxylated metabolites and other known endocrine disruptors such as pesticides or perfluorinated compounds could be considered, as well as bioassays highlighting other endocrine disrupting effects.
Couderc, M., Gandolfi, F., Zalouk-Vergnoux, A., Beyeler, N., Malleret, L., Ambidina, I., ... Poirier, L. (2016). Levels and distributions of organic pollutants in subtidal sediments from the Loire estuary: Are there any relationships with TTR-binding activity? Journal of sea research, 118, 59-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2016.07.005