The potential risk of pharmaceuticals in the environment to top-predators is still largely unknown. In this study, we assessed the immunotoxic effects of ten pharmaceuticals individually and as mixtures on a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) B lymphoma cell line. A significant reduction in lymphocyte transformation was observed following an exposure to 12,500μg/L 17α-ethinyl estradiol and 25,000μg/L naproxen. Exposure to 12,500μg/L 17α-ethinyl estradiol decreased the percentage of cell in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle while increasing the percentage of cells in the S phase. Carbamazepine exposure increased the amount of cells in the G2/M phase. Binary mixtures showed synergistic effects in lymphocyte transformation, cell cycle and apoptosis assays. Concentrations inducing toxic effects in the cell line were similar to those affecting fish in previous studies. A reduction of functional activities of the immune system may lead to altered host resistance to pathogens in free-ranging pinnipeds.
Keywords: Cell line; Harbor seal; Immunotoxicity; In vitro; Mixture; Pharmaceuticals.
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