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Cytochrome P450 and contaminant concentrations in nestling black-crowned night-herons and their interrelation with sibling embryos

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

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Abstract

Hepatic cytochrome P450-associated monooxygenase activities were measured in 11-d-old nestling black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) collected from a reference site (next to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA, USA) and three contaminated sites (Cat Island, Green Bay, WI, USA; Bah Island, San Francisco Bay, CA, USA; and West Marin Island, San Francisco Bay, CA, USA). Arylhydrocarbon hydroxylase and benzyloxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activities of nestlings from contaminated sites were only slightly elevated (less than threefold) compared with the reference site. Organochlorine pesticide and total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in nestlings were greatest at contaminated sites, although much lower than found in concurrently collected eggs and pipping embryos. Pollutant concentrations of nestlings were rarely associated with monooxygenase activity. In contrast, concurrently collected pipping heron embryos (often siblings of the nestlings) exhibited pronounced monooxygenase induction (means at contaminated sites were elevated up to sevenfold and values of some embryos exceeded 25-fold induction). Furthermore, monooxygenase activity of pipping embryos was significantly correlated with total PCBs, arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners, and toxic equivalents. The modest monooxygenase responses of heron nestlings suggest that this biomarker may have only limited value during this rapid-growth life stage.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Cytochrome P450 and contaminant concentrations in nestling black-crowned night-herons and their interrelation with sibling embryos
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume
15
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
pp. 715-721
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page:
715
Last page:
721