Unité de pharmacie-toxicologie
Unité Inserm U955 équipe 03
École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort
7, avenue du Général-de-Gaulle
France, 56, avenue Division-Leclerc
The concept of sentinel animals is ancient. The authors propose applying it to pets, and in particular to cats, who share the same environment as their owners and are exposed to the same contaminated indoor air and sometimes the same food, both sometimes including endocrine disrupters. The abnormal behaviour of the cats living around the bay of Minamata, with lesions similar to those observed in the fishermen poisoned by methylmercury, is a historical example. The relations between contamination by polybrominated biphenyls or by perfluorinated hydrocarbons and the onset of some physiological disruptions common to humans and cats make it possible to approach current issues (respectively hyperthyroidism and immune deficiency). Finally, we suggest experiments that might support various hypotheses.