To assess the possibility that organochlorine pesticide disruption of osmoregulation is responsible for recent large kills of young seabirds, we have studied the effects of DDE feeding (10-250 ppm) on plasma osmoregulation and nasal gland function in the following species: mallared and white Pekin ducks (both Anas platyrhynchos), black guillemot (Cepphus grylle), and common (Fratercula arctica). Other investigators have recently reported that dietary DDE (10-1,000 ppm) inhibits nasal gland secretion in freshwater-maintained mallards; our initial experiments with white Pekins showed no such inhibition during either freshwater or seawater maintainance. Moreover, DDE had minimal effects on plasma electrolyte levels and total nasal gland Na-K-ATPase activities in all species studied. Liver DDE levels in experimental ducks and guillemots were comparable to those reported for seabirds found dead after kills; levels in starved experimental puffins were much higher. Thus DDE at environmental levels does not affect osmoregulation or nasal gland Na-K-ATPase either in ducks or in two species of oceanic birds.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society