Long-Term Exposure to Environmental Concentrations of the Pharmaceutical Ethynylestradiol Causes Reproductive Failure in Fish

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Long-Term Exposure to Environmental Concentrations of the Pharmaceutical Ethynylestradiol Causes Reproductive Failure in Fish

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dc.contributor.author Nash, Jon P. en_GB
dc.contributor.author Kime, David E. en_GB
dc.contributor.author Van der Ven, Leo T. M. en_GB
dc.contributor.author Wester, Piet W. en_GB
dc.contributor.author Brion, Fran├žois en_GB
dc.contributor.author Maack, Gerd en_GB
dc.contributor.author Stahlschmidt-Allner, Petra en_GB
dc.contributor.author Tyler, Charles R. en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-31T15:20:56Z en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-25T11:46:48Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-20T14:47:16Z
dc.date.issued 2004-12 en_GB
dc.description.abstract Heightened concern over endocrine-disrupting chemicals is driven by the hypothesis that they could reduce reproductive success and affect wildlife populations, but there is little evidence for this expectation. The pharmaceutical ethynylestradiol (EE2) is a potent endocrine modulator and is present in the aquatic environment at biologically active concentrations. To investigate impacts on reproductive success and mechanisms of disruption, we exposed breeding populations (n = 12) of zebrafish (Danio rerio) over multiple generations to environmentally relevant concentrations of EE2. Life-long exposure to 5 ng/L EE2 in the F1 generation caused a 56% reduction in fecundity and complete population failure with no fertilization. Conversely, the same level of exposure for up to 40 days in mature adults in the parental F0 generation had no impact on reproductive success. Infertility in the F1 generation after life-long exposure to 5 ng/L EE2 was due to disturbed sexual differentiation, with males having no functional testes and either undifferentiated or intersex gonads. These F1 males also showed a reduced vitellogenic response when compared with F0 males, indicating an acclimation to EE2 exposure. Depuration studies found only a partial recovery in reproductive capacity after 5 months. Significantly, even though the F1 males lacked functional testes, they showed male-pattern reproductive behavior, inducing the spawning act and competing with healthy males to disrupt fertilization. Endocrine disruption is therefore likely to affect breeding dynamics and reproductive success in group-spawning fish. Our findings raise major concerns about the population-level impacts for wildlife of long-term exposure to low concentrations of estrogenic endocrine disruptors. en_GB
dc.identifier.citation Environmental Health Perspectives, 2004, 112(17):1725-1733 en_GB
dc.identifier.doi 10.1289/ehp.7209 en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/12237 en_GB
dc.language.iso en_US en_GB
dc.rights This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original DOI. en_GB
dc.title Long-Term Exposure to Environmental Concentrations of the Pharmaceutical Ethynylestradiol Causes Reproductive Failure in Fish en_GB
dc.type Article en_GB
dc.date.available 2004-12 en_GB
dc.date.available 2007-05-31T15:20:56Z en_GB
dc.date.available 2011-01-25T11:46:48Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-20T14:47:16Z
dc.identifier.issn 0091-6765 en_GB
dc.format.dig YES en_GB
dc.identifier.journal Environmental Health Perspectives en_GB
dc.identifier.pmcid 1253666 en_GB
dc.identifier.pmid 15579420 en_GB
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