Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1031–1036 | Cite as

Associations of ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin with inflammation and glucose in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

  • Stephanie Venn-Watson
  • Kevin P. Carlin
  • Gordon A. Andrews
  • Patricia S. Chavey
  • Lisa Mazzaro
Original Article


Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a diabetes-like metabolism and are susceptible to conditions, including chronic inflammation, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia, that are associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in humans. Serum ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin levels were assessed among 58 dolphins as indicators of inflammation as well as predictors of glucose and lipids, using stepwise regression models that included age, sex, fasting status, reason for blood draw, hematocrit, white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), serum glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The mean ± SD of ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin levels were 23 ± 8 and 32 ± 29 mg/dl, respectively. Increasing ceruloplasmin was mildly associated with increasing ESR (P = 0.001, R 2 = 0.19). The best predictors of haptoglobin levels were serum glucose and reason for blood draw; the strongest positive association between haptoglobin and glucose was among blood samples that were taken as part of an initial clinical workup (R 2 = 0.78), followed by blood samples that were taken for routine health purposes (R 2 = 0.47). This study supports that ceruloplasmin is associated with ESR, a common biomarker of inflammation among dolphins, and that increasing haptoglobin is associated with increasing glucose.


Acute-phase proteins Dolphin Glucose Inflammation 



The authors wish to thank the animal care staff at the Navy Marine Mammal Program for collection of samples used in this study, Dr. Sam Ridgway for his initial work with dolphin glucose metabolism, and Dr. Laura Kienker at the Office of Naval Research. This study was supported by the Office of Naval Research Award Number N000141210294. This work constitutes scientific contribution nu.218 from the Sea Research Foundation. The experiments in this study complied with current US laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Venn-Watson
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Carlin
    • 1
  • Gordon A. Andrews
    • 2
  • Patricia S. Chavey
    • 2
  • Lisa Mazzaro
    • 3
  1. 1.National Marine Mammal FoundationSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic LaboratoryManhattanUSA
  3. 3.Mystic Aquarium, a Division of Sea Research FoundationMysticUSA

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