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Title

Maternal transfer of lead in mallards under field conditions: biochemical and immunological effects on ducklings

AuthorsOrtiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E. ; López-Antia, Ana ; Martínez-Haro, Mónica ; Espín, Silvia; Vidal, Dolors ; Mateo, Rafael
Issue Date2012
CitationSETAC 6th World Congress/SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting (2012)
AbstractThe ingestion of Pb shot used for hunting constitutes the main cause of lead poisoning in waterfowl. Females may transfer some of the accumulated Pb to their eggs and, although most Pb is expected to accumulate in the eggshell, it can ultimately affect embryonic and hatchling health and development. We collected eggs of mallard ducks from the Ebro delta (NE Spain), an area with high Pb shot prevalences in waterfowl, and incubated them artificially. Blood samples were collected at days 3 and 28 post hatching to measure Pb levels, δ-ALAD activity, oxidative stress indicators, biochemical parameters, vitamins and carotenoids. Cellular immune function was quantified at day 14 as the intensity of swelling produced in response to an intradermal injection of phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Humoral immune function was measured at day 28 as the amount of antibodies synthesized against an intraperitoneal injection of sheep erythrocytes. Ducklings with blood Pb levels above 180 ng/ml died during the first 7 days post hatching. Eggshell Pb levels were significantly correlated with blood Pb levels in ducklings at day 3 (r=0.549, p=0.002), but not at day 28. δ-ALAD activity and cellular immune function were negatively correlated with Pb levels in eggshell (δ-ALAD: r=-0.383, p=0.040; PHA reaction: r=-0.471, p=0.048) and blood of mallard ducklings (δ-ALAD: r=-0.468, p=0.009; PHA reaction: r=-0.639, p=0.003). Neither the humoral immune function nor the rest of blood parameters were affected by blood or eggshell Pb concentrations. δ-ALAD activity decreased linearly at blood Pb concentrations above 60 ng/ml, as it has been described for adult mallards. The results suggest that some of the Pb present in eggshells was accumulated in target tissues (i.e. liver, spleen, bone), potentially contributing to the observed immunotoxic. Because range of Pb levels is wider in eggshells than in blood samples, eggshell contents may be used to estimate in ovo Pb exposure of the ducklings, being a more representative indicator than blood levels to estimate the effects of Pb intoxications.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al 6th SETAC World Congress and SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, celebrados en Berlin (Alemania) del 20 al 24 de mayo de 2012.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/146898
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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