Levels of organochlorine pesticides are associated with amyloid aggregation in apex avian brains

Heys, Kelly A.; Shore, Richard F.; Pereira, M. Gloria; Martin, Francis L.. 2017 Levels of organochlorine pesticides are associated with amyloid aggregation in apex avian brains. Environmental Science & Technology, 51 (15). 8672-8681.

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Organochlorine (OC) pesticides pose a significant environmental risk to wildlife and humans and have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aims to spectroscopically analyze brains from free-flying birds and link the results to OC exposure and consequent amyloid aggregation. As long-lived apex predators, predatory birds represent a sentinel species similar to humans. Therefore, the results have implications for both species and may also add to our understanding of the role OC pesticides play in the development of AD. Brains of wild Sparrowhawks were analyzed using ATR-FTIR and Raman spectroscopy and Congo red staining; results were correlated with OC pesticide concentrations in livers. Effects of OC exposure were sex- and age-dependent and associated alterations were seen in lipids and protein secondary structure. A shift from α-helix to β-sheet conformation of proteins indicated that concentrations of OC pesticides >7.18 μg/g may lead to cerebral amyloid aggregation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0013-936X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 Sep 2017 13:33 +0 (UTC)

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