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Polychlorinated biphenyls are known to cause adverse health effects to biological systems; however, limited data is available on their effects on the immune system of wild species. Previous work by our lab found that 4 and 6-week old white-footed mice (Perornyscus leucopus) born from dams injected with a single dose (300 mg/kg) of Aroclor 1254, had altered immunological, hematological, and biochemical responses. The present study examines various immunological parameters of 22-week old white footed mice born from dams chronically exposed to Aroclor 1254 at concentrations equivalent to those at contaminated sites. Females were fed diets containing either Aroclor 1254 in corn oil or corn off only, for 3 months, then bred; pups were maintained on the same diets as their mothers. At 22 weeks of age, 31 of the young Peromyscus were analyzed. Body and organ weights were taken and immune function was evaluated by assessing blood profiles, cellularity of thymus and spleen, antibody response to the antigen DNP-KLH, and the in vitro proliferative response to the T-cell mitogen Conconavalin A (Con A). Liver weights and liver to body weight ratios in the treated mice were significantly higher compared to controls, while the combined weights of the adrenal glands were significantly lower. In addition, the number of thymocytes in the treated mice was significantly lower than that of the controls; however, thymocytes of treated mice had a higher degree of proliferation to Con A. Taken together, these results and those obtained from our previous study, indicate that monitoring of vulnerable immunological parameters in white-footed mice may be a useful indicator of exposure.
Additional Publication Details
Evaluation of the immunological and hematological effects of chronic exposure of adult Peromyscus leucopus to Aroclor 1254 at concentrations equivalent to those at contaminated sites
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, annual meeting abstract book