Aquatic Toxicology 233, 105792 (2021).
Sensitivity of turtles to anticoagulant rodenticides: risk assessment for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Ogasawara Islands and comparison of warfarin sensitivity among turtle species
Yoshiya Yamamura, Kazuki Takeda, Yusuke K. Kawai, Yoshinori Ikenaka, Chiyo Kitayama, Satomi Kondo, Chiho Kezuka, Mari Taniguchi, Mayumi Ishizuka, Shouta M.M. Nakayama
Although anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are effectively used for the control of invasive rodents, nontarget species are also frequently exposed to ARs and secondary poisonings occur widely. However, little data is available on the effects of ARs, especially on marine organisms. To evaluate the effects of ARs on marine wildlife, we chose green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), which are one of the most common marine organisms around the Ogasawara islands, as our primary study species. The sensitivity of these turtles to ARs was assessed using both in vivo and in vitro approaches. We administered 4 mg/kg of warfarin sodium either orally or intravenously to juvenile green sea turtles. The turtles exhibited slow pharmacokinetics, and prolongation of prothrombin time (PT) was observed only with intravenous warfarin administration. We also conducted an in vitro investigation using liver microsomes from green sea turtles, and two other turtle species (softshell turtle and red-eared slider) and rats. The cytochrome P450 metabolic activity in the liver of green sea turtles was lower than in rats. Additionally, vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKOR), which is the target enzyme of ARs, was inhibited by warfarin in the turtles at lower concentration levels than in rats. These data indicate that turtles may be more sensitive to ARs than rats. We expect that these findings will be helpful for sea turtle conservation following accidental AR-broadcast incidents.