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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Comparative cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of particulate and soluble hexavalent chromium in human and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) skin cells.

Authors: Li Chen, Tânia; LaCerte, Carolyne; Wise, Sandra S; Holmes, Amie; Martino, Julieta; Wise Jr, John Pierce; Thompson, W Douglas; Wise Sr, John Pierce

Published In Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol, (2012 Jan)

Abstract: Chromium (Cr) is a global marine pollutant, present in marine mammal tissues. Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a known human carcinogen. In this study, we compare the cytotoxic and clastogenic effects of Cr(VI) in human (Homo sapiens) and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) skin fibroblasts. Our data show that increasing concentrations of both particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induce increasing amounts of cytotoxicity and clastogenicity in human and sperm whale skin cells. Furthermore, the data show that sperm whale cells are resistant to these effects exhibiting less cytotoxicity and genotoxicity than the human cells. Differences in Cr uptake accounted for some but not all of the differences in particulate and soluble Cr(VI) genotoxicity, although it did explain the differences in particulate Cr(VI) cytotoxicity. Altogether, the data indicate that Cr(VI) is a genotoxic threat to whales, but also suggest that whales have evolved cellular mechanisms to protect them against the genotoxicity of environmental agents such as Cr(VI).

PubMed ID: 21466859 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Cells, Cultured; Chromates/toxicity*; Chromium/toxicity*; Chromosome Aberrations/chemically induced*; Female; Humans; Lead/toxicity*; Metaphase; Mutagenicity Tests; Particulate Matter/toxicity; Sodium Compounds/toxicity*; Solubility; Species Specificity; Whales/genetics*; Whales/physiology

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