Chemosphere (2013)

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.04.024


The present study investigated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hydroxylated metabolites of PCBs (OH-PCBs) in blood from three porpoise species: finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides), harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), and Dall’s porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli). The porpoises were found stranded or were bycaught along the Japanese coast. Concentrations of OH-PCB were the highest in Dall’s porpoises (58 pg g−1 wet wt), second highest in finless porpoises (20 pg g−1 wet wt), and lowest in harbor porpoises (8.3 pg g−1 wet wt). The concentrations in Dall’s porpoises were significantly higher than the concentrations in finless porpoises and harbor porpoises (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). There was a positive correlation between PCB and OH-PCB concentrations (r = 0.67, p < 0.001), suggesting the possible concentration-dependent induction of CYP enzymes. The three porpoise species may have exceptionally low metabolic capacities compared with other marine and terrestrial mammals, because low OH-PCB/PCB concentration ratios were found, which were 0.0016 for Dall’s porpoises, 0.0013 for harbor porpoises, and 0.00058 for finless porpoises. Distinct differences in the OH-PCB congener patterns were observed for the three species, even though they are taxonomically closely related.