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Environ Pollut. 2007 Jan;145(1):138-45. Epub 2006 May 19.

Organohalogen contamination in breeding glaucous gulls from the Norwegian Arctic: associations with basal metabolism and circulating thyroid hormones.

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  • 1Norwegian Polar Institute, Polar Environmental Centre, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway.


Exposure to organohalogens in endotherms has been suggested to impose chemically induced stress by affecting functions related to maintenance energy requirements. Effects on basal metabolic rate (BMR) have been suggested to be, in part, mediated through interactions with the thyroid hormones (THs). We investigated the relationships between plasma concentrations of major organochlorines, PBDEs, hydroxylated (OH)- and methoxylated (MeO)-PBDEs and OH-PCBs, circulating TH levels and BMR in breeding glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Norwegian Arctic. Negative associations were found between BMR and concentrations of sigma PCB, Sigma DDT and particularly Sigma chlordane, which combined made up 91% of the total contaminant burden. Levels of THs (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) were not associated significantly with variation of BMR or concentrations of any of the compounds determined. The present study suggests that BMR may be altered in glaucous gulls exposed to high loadings of persistent contaminants in the Norwegian Arctic environment.

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