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Combined effects of experimental heavy metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation on quail's body condition: parallelism with a wild common guillemot (Uria aalge) population found stranded at the Belgian coast
Debacker, V.; Rutten, A.; Jauniaux, T.; Daemers, C.; Bouquegneau, J.-M. (2001). Combined effects of experimental heavy metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation on quail's body condition: parallelism with a wild common guillemot (Uria aalge) population found stranded at the Belgian coast. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 82(1-3): 87-107
In: Biological Trace Element Research: Official Journal of the International Association of Bioinorganic Scientists and The Official Journal of the World Biomedical Selenium Society. Humana Press Inc.: Clifton, N.J.,. ISSN 0163-4984, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280421 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Debacker, V., more
  • Rutten, A.
  • Jauniaux, T., more
  • Daemers, C.
  • Bouquegneau, J.-M., more

Abstract
    Combined effects of heavy-metal contamination (Cu, Zn, and CH3Hg) and starvation were tested on common quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) and used as a model for comparison with a wild common guillemot (Uria aalge) population found stranded at the Belgian coast. Appropriate heavy-metal levels were given to the quails to obtain concentrations similar to those found in the seabirds's tissues. The contaminated animals were then starved for 4 d to simulate the evident malnutrition symptoms observed at the guillemot's level. In such conditions, food intake and total-body weight are shown to decrease in contaminated individuals with simultaneous significant hepatic and renal increase of the heavy-metal concentrations. Like guillemots, higher heavy-metal levels were observed in those contaminated quails that had also developed a cachectic status characterized by a general atrophy of their pectoral muscle and complete absence of subcutaneous and/or abdominal fat depots. Although likely the result of a general protein catabolism during starvation, it is suggested that these higher metal levels could as well enhance a general muscle wasting process (cachectic status).

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