American Chemical Society
es7b04652_si_001.pdf (1.93 MB)

Comprehensive Screening Links Halogenated Organic Compounds with Testosterone Levels in Male Delphinus delphis from the Southern California Bight

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-04, 00:00 authored by Marisa L. Trego, Eunha Hoh, Nicholas M. Kellar, Sara Meszaros, Michelle N. Robbins, Nathan G. Dodder, Andrew Whitehead, Rebecca L. Lewison
While environmental pollutants have been associated with changes in endocrine health in cetaceans, efforts to link contaminant exposure with hormones have largely been limited to a list of known, targeted contaminants, overlooking minimally characterized or unknown compounds of emerging concern. To address this gap, we analyzed a suite of potential endocrine disrupting halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) in blubber from 16 male short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) with known maturity status collected from fishery bycatch in the Southern California Bight. We employed a suspect screening mass spectrometry-based method to investigate a wide range of HOCs that were previously observed in cetaceans from the same region. Potential endocrine effects were assessed through the measurement of blubber testosterone. We detected 167 HOCs, including 81 with known anthropogenic sources, 49 of unknown origin, and 37 with known natural sources. The sum of 11 anthropogenic and 4 unknown HOC classes were negatively correlated with blubber testosterone. Evidence suggests that elevated anthropogenic HOC load contributes to impaired testosterone production in mature male D. delphis. The application of this integrative analytical approach to cetacean contaminant analysis allows for inference of the biological consequences of accumulation of HOCs and prioritization of compounds for future environmental toxicology research.