J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 707 - 710

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 707
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030401

Is arsenobetaine the major arsenic compound in the liver of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles?

R. Kubota, T. Kunito and S. Tanabe

Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Tarumi 3-5-7, Matsuyama 790-8566, Japan

Concentrations of total arsenic and individual arsenic compounds were determined in the livers of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles by using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) and high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ICP-MS). Marine mammals feeding on cephalopods and crustaceans accumulated higher arsenic concentrations than the species feeding on fishes. No significant age and gender differences in arsenic concentrations were observed for most of the species of marine mammals. Elevated total arsenic concentrations were found in livers of black-footed albatross and loggerhead turtles and these values were comparable to those of lower trophic marine animals. Arsenobetaine was the major arsenical in the livers of most of the species examined. Particularly, in seabirds, mean proportions of arsenobetaine was more than 90% of total extractable arsenic In contast, arsenobetaine was a minor constituent in dugong. The compositions of arsenic compounds were different among the species examined. These results might be due to the differences in the metabolic capacity among species and/or the different compositions of arsenic compounds in their preys.

© EDP Sciences 2003