PT03 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Exhibit Hall
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(PT019) Brain Asymmetry in Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) Environmentally Exposed to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

Jasevicius, A1, Wilkerson, E1, Henshel, D1, 1 Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

ABSTRACT- Thirty snapping turtles were collected from a contaminated wastewater treatment plant and a relatively uncontaminated reference site. After the turtle brains were sacrificed and necropsy was performed, brains were immersion fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin. Brains were measured for asymmetry by taking measurements at specific landmarks on the dorsal, ventral, and lateral cerebral hemisphere, tecta and olfactory bulbs on both the right and left hemispheres (44 total measurements). The difference (R-L) and absolute difference between hemispheres was calculated and compared against the somatic indeces to identify PCB mixtures that contribute to asymmetry. Frequency of asymmetric measurement and the severity of asymmetry were calculated for both sites and a trend of increasing frequency of asymmetric measurements and more severe asymmetry was found in the contaminated site. Comparison of the mean dorsal olfactory length and a dorsal cerebral hemisphere width are found to have a statistical significance, (P≤ 0.05) and increased asymmetry is observable in specimens collected from the contaminated site.

Key words: brain asymmetry, Chelydra serpentina, polychlorinated biphenyls, development

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