Alterations in thyroid hormone status in Greenland sledge dogs exposed to whale blubber contaminated with organohalogen compounds

Maja Kirkegaard, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, Robert J Letcher, Asger Lundorff Jensen, Signe Stige Hansen, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Philippe Grandjean

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


As a model of high trophic level carnivores, sledge dogs were fed from 2 to 18 months of age with minke whale blubber containing organohalogen compounds (OHC) corresponding to 128 μg PCB/day. Controls were fed uncontaminated porcine fat. Thyroid hormone levels were assessed in 7 exposed and 7 control sister bitches (sampled at age 6–18 months) and 4 exposed and 4 control pups, fed the same diet as their mothers (sampled age 3–12 months). Lower free and total T3 and T4 were seen in exposed vs. control bitches beyond 10 months of age, and total T3 was lower through 3–12 months of age in exposed pups. A negative correlation with thyroid gland weight was significant for ΣDDT, as was a positive association with total T3 for dieldrin. This study therefore supports observational data that OHCs may adversely affect thyroid functions, and it suggests that OHC exposure duration of 10 months or more may be required for current OHC contamination levels to result in detectable adverse effects on thyroid hormone dynamics.
TidsskriftEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)157-63
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2011



  • canis familiaris
  • endocrine disruption
  • T3
  • T4
  • Thyroxine
  • Thyroid
  • PCB
  • Organohalogen contaminants
  • sledge dog