Short-term fasting does not aggravate immunosuppression in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) with high body burdens of organochlorines

R.L. de Swart, P.S. Ross, H.H. Timmerman, W.C. Hijman, E. de Ruiter, A.K. Djien Liem, A. Brouwer, H. van Loveren, P.J.H. Reijnders, J.G. Vos, A.D.M.E. Osterhaus

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Two groups of 11 harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) with different body burdens of organochlorines were subjected to an experimental 15-day fasting period, during which they lost an average 16.5% of their body weights. Blood levels of the most persistent organochlorines showed an approximate twofold increase, while levels of aryl hydrocarbon receptor-binding organochlorines remained largely unaffected. Few differences in immunological parameters were observed between the two dietary groups. Numbers of circulating lymphocytes dropped to about 65% of the initial values and NK cell activity showed a slight increase in both groups. Mitogen- and antigen-induced lymphoproliferative responses of the Baltic group of seals remained within normal ranges. These results suggest that relatively short-term fasting periods do not present an additional immunotoxicological risk to seals with high body burdens of organochlorines.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)4289-4306
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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