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1 September 2005 AN IMMUNOHISTOCHEMICAL STUDY OF RETINOL-BINDING PROTEIN (RBP) IN LIVERS OF FREE-LIVING POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM EAST GREENLAND
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Abstract
From 1999 to 2002 samples from 114 free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were collected in the municipality of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland, to detect levels of organochlorines and potential histopathologic changes. Livers of 16 female polar bears from this group were evaluated histologically and analyzed for hepatic retinol-binding protein by immunohistochemistry. Retinol-binding protein is the main transport protein for retinol, an important vitamin A metabolite in the polar bear. Only mild pathologic changes were noted on histologic evaluation of the livers. Small lymphocytic or lymphohistiocytic infiltrates were present in all the livers. Small lipid granulomas, mild periportal fibrosis, and bile duct proliferation were found in several cases. Immunohistochemistry for retinol-binding protein of hepatic tissue from free-ranging polar bears showed no distinct difference in staining intensity by a number of criteria: age, season (fasting and nonfasting), or lactation status. The staining was diffuse to finely stippled in the cytoplasm and showed very little variation among the animals. Because of the lack of macroscopic changes and the absence of severe histologic liver lesions, these polar bears were assumed to be healthy. The diffuse cytoplasmic retinol-binding protein staining in hepatocytes of free-ranging polar bears varies markedly from the prominent granular, less intense staining of captive polar bears investigated previously.
Annabelle Heier, Christian Sonne, Andrea Gröne, Pall S. Leifsson, Rune Dietz, Erik W. Born and Luca N. Bacciarini "AN IMMUNOHISTOCHEMICAL STUDY OF RETINOL-BINDING PROTEIN (RBP) IN LIVERS OF FREE-LIVING POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM EAST GREENLAND," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 36(3), (1 September 2005). https://doi.org/10.1638/03-058.1
Received: 25 June 2003; Accepted: ; Published: 1 September 2005
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