Effects of Dietary Exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in Adult Female Mink (Mustela vison)

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Abstract.

Adult female mink were fed diets supplemented with 0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 ppb 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) for up to 125 days. There was a dose-dependent decrease in feed consumption and body weights indicative of the “wasting syndrome” previously reported for mink and other species exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds. Mortality reached 12.5, 62.5, and 100% by day 28 in the 1-, 10-, and 100-ppb groups, respectively, and by day 125, mortality increased to 62.5 and 100% in the 1- and 10-ppb groups, respectively. Adrenal gland weights were significantly greater in the three highest dose groups compared to the control group. The percentage of band neutrophils was also significantly greater in the TCDD-treated groups compared to the control. LC50 (±SE) values for 28 and 125 days of dietary exposure to TCDD were calculated to be 4.8 ± 4.99 ppb and 0.85 ± 0.64 ppb, respectively. Based on feed consumption of control mink, these LC50 concentrations approximate 0.264 and 0.047 μg TCDD/kg body weight/day for the 28- and 125-day exposure periods, respectively. These results confirm the sensitivity of mink to TCDD.

Received: 4 August 1997/Accepted: 5 February 1998