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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 438295, 13 pages
Research Article

Estrogenic Evaluation and Organochlorine Identification in Blubber of North Sea Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) Stranded on the North Sea Coast

1Laboratory of Food Analysis, Department of Food Science, FARAH-Veterinary Public Health, University of Liège, Bâtiment B43b, Quartier Vallée 2, Avenue de Cureghem 10, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2Department of Morphology and Pathology, FARAH-Veterinary Public Health, University of Liège, Bâtiment B43, Quartier Vallée 2, Avenue de Cureghem 6, 4000 Liège, Belgium
3Laboratory for Oceanology, MARE Center, University of Liège, Bâtiment B6c, Quartier Agora, Allée du Six Août 11, 4000 Liège, Belgium
4Organogenesis and Regeneration, GIGA-R, University of Liège, Bâtiment B34, Quartier Hôpital, Avenue de l’Hôpital 1, 4000 Liège, Belgium

Received 16 January 2015; Revised 24 March 2015; Accepted 7 April 2015

Academic Editor: Stelvio M. Bandiera

Copyright © 2015 Pedro Henrique Imazaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thirteen individual organochlorine compounds at 3 concentrations (80, 400, and 2000 ng/mL culture medium), as well as mixtures, were assayed for the estrogen receptor (ER) activation or inhibition, using a luciferase reporter gene assay (RGA). None of the PCB 138, 153, or 180 or their mixture induced a response in the RGA. o,p′-DDT was the most potent xenoestrogen from the DDT group, inducing a response already at 80 ng/mL. From the HCH and HCB group, only β-HCH (at 400 and 2000 ng/mL) and δ-HCH (at 2000 ng/mL) displayed estrogenic activities. These 13 organochlorines were determined by GC-MS in 12 samples of North Sea harbor porpoise blubber. The PCBs were the main contaminants. Within each group, PCB 153 (6.0 × 102~4.2 × 104μg/kg), p,p′-DDE (5.1 × 102~8.6 × 103μg/kg), and HCB (7.6 × 101~1.5 × 103μg/kg) were the compounds found in highest concentrations. The hormonal activity of the porpoise blubber samples was also assayed in RGA, where two samples showed estrogenic activity, seven samples showed antiestrogenic activity, and one sample showed both estrogenic and antiestrogenic activity. Our results suggest that the 13 POPs measured by GC-MS in the samples cannot explain alone the estrogenicity of the extracts.