Influence of dietary 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene exposure in the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)

Robert M. Gogal, Mark S. Johnson, Calvert T. Larsen, Mary R. Prater, Robert B. Duncan, Daniel L. Ward, Steven D. Holladay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The risk to wildlife from exposure to the explosive, 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) has been a concern at numerous military installations where it has been found in the soil. To date, no published data are available describing effects of TNT exposure in an avian species. Subchronic dietary exposure to TNT was therefore evaluated in a species of management concern at military installations, the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Adult male and female quail (n = 5/sex/dose) were given commercial feed containing 3, 000, 1, 500, 750, and 100 mg/kg TNT for 90 d following the determination of an acute lethal dose and a 14-d range finding study. Dietary TNT intake caused a dose-dependent decrease in total red blood cell counts, packed cell volume, total plasma protein, blood prolymphocytes, and blood lymphocytes. An increased trend in late apoptotic/necrotic blood leukocytic cells was also observed in TNT-exposed birds, as was hemosiderosis in the liver. With the exception of hemosiderosis, these trends were statistically significant yet of questionable biological significance. Since treatment-related responses in this preliminary study were variable, a conservative interpretation is suggested. However, since these treatments had concentrations that were a log-fold or more than doses in similar studies using mammals, these data suggest that northern bobwhite are less sensitive to oral exposures of TNT than mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • 2, 4, 6-Trinitrotoluene
  • Colinus virginianus
  • Immunotoxicity
  • Oral exposure
  • Quail


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