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  • 1.
    Balk, Lennart
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hägerroth, Per-Ake
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Åkerman, Gun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hanson, Marsha
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Tjärnlund, Ulla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hansson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hallgrimsson, Gunnar Thor
    Zebühr, Yngve
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Broman, Dag
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Mörner, Torsten
    Sundberg, Henrik
    Wild birds of declining European species are dying from a thiamine deficiency syndrome.2009In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 106, no 29, p. 12001-12006Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wild birds of several species are dying in large numbers from an idiopathic paralytic disease in the Baltic Sea area. Here, we demonstrate strong relationships between this disease, breeding failure, and thiamine (vitamin B(1)) deficiency in eggs, pulli, and full-grown individuals. Thiamine is essential for vertebrates, and its diphosphorylated form functions as a cofactor for several life sustaining enzymes, whereas the triphosphorylated form is necessary for the functioning of neuronal membranes. Paralyzed individuals were remedied by thiamine treatment. Moreover, thiamine deficiency and detrimental effects on thiamine-dependent enzymes were demonstrated in the yolk, liver, and brain. We propose that the mortality and breeding failure are part of a thiamine deficiency syndrome, which may have contributed significantly to declines in many bird populations during the last decades.

  • 2.
    Balk, Lennart
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Hägerroth, Per-Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Gustavsson, Hanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Sigg, Lisa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Åkerman, Gun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Ruiz Munoz, Yolanda
    Honeyfield, Dale C.
    Tjärnlund, Ulla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Oliveira, Kenneth
    Ström, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    McCormick, Stephen D.
    Karlsson, Simon
    Ström, Marika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    van Manen, Mathijs
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Utrecht University, Germany.
    Berg, Anna-Lena
    Halldorsson, Halldor P.
    Strömquist, Jennie
    Collier, Tracy K.
    Börjeson, Hans
    Mörner, Torsten
    Hansson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
    Widespread episodic thiamine deficiency in Northern Hemisphere wildlife2016In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, article id 38821Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many wildlife populations are declining at rates higher than can be explained by known threats to biodiversity. Recently, thiamine (vitamin B-1) deficiency has emerged as a possible contributing cause. Here, thiamine status was systematically investigated in three animal classes: bivalves, ray-finned fishes, and birds. Thiamine diphosphate is required as a cofactor in at least five life-sustaining enzymes that are required for basic cellular metabolism. Analysis of different phosphorylated forms of thiamine, as well as of activities and amount of holoenzyme and apoenzyme forms of thiaminedependent enzymes, revealed episodically occurring thiamine deficiency in all three animal classes. These biochemical effects were also linked to secondary effects on growth, condition, liver size, blood chemistry and composition, histopathology, swimming behaviour and endurance, parasite infestation, and reproduction. It is unlikely that the thiamine deficiency is caused by impaired phosphorylation within the cells. Rather, the results point towards insufficient amounts of thiamine in the food. By investigating a large geographic area, by extending the focus from lethal to sublethal thiamine deficiency, and by linking biochemical alterations to secondary effects, we demonstrate that the problem of thiamine deficiency is considerably more widespread and severe than previously reported.

  • 3.
    Skarphedinsdottir, Halldora
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hallgrimsson, Gunnar Thor
    Hansson, Tomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Hägerroth, Per-Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Liewenborg, Birgitta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Tjärnlund, Ulla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Åkerman, Gun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Barsiene, Janina
    Balk, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
    Genotoxicity in herring gulls (Larus argentatus) in Sweden and Iceland2010In: Mutation research. Genetic toxicology and environmental mutagenesis, ISSN 1383-5718, E-ISSN 1879-3592, Vol. 702, no 1, p. 24-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Adult and young herring gulls (Larus argentatus) in Sweden and Iceland were investigated with respect to DNA adducts, analysed with the nuclease-P1 version of the P-32-postlabelling method, and micronucleated erythrocytes. Three important aims were: (1) to estimate the degree of exposure to genotoxic environmental pollutants in the Baltic Sea area and Iceland, (2) to evaluate the utility of the investigated biomarkers in birds, and (3) to investigate if there was any relationship between genotoxic effects and thiamine deficiency. The results demonstrate that both Swedish and Icelandic herring gulls are exposed to genotoxic pollution. Urban specimens have higher levels of DNA adducts than rural specimens, but background exposure to genotoxic environmental pollutants, such as PAHs, is also significant. In the herring gull the general level of DNA adducts in the liver seems to be higher than in fish. DNA adducts were most abundant in the liver, followed by the kidney, intestinal mucosa, and whole blood, in decreasing order. The frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes was probably slightly elevated in all the investigated sites, reflecting a significant background exposure. The level of DNA adducts was unrelated to the frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes, and both these variables were unrelated to symptoms of thiamine deficiency. The investigation confirmed the utility of DNA adducts, and probably also micronucleated erythrocytes, as biomarkers of genotoxicity in birds.

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