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Title [en]
Endocrine disruption in fish: Risk identification, development of biomarkers and assessment of risk levels in the Baltic Sea
Abstract [en]
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the function of hormone systems of vertebrates and several invertebrate species. A wide variety of EDCs from industrial contaminations and municipal wastewaters are found in aquatic environments. Female estrogens and synthetic estrogens used for birth control are important contributors to the EDC load. Evidence from field studies suggests relationship between environmental EDC exposures and developmental and reproductive alterations in fish, including feminisation of male fish living downstream of sewage treatment plants. Effects of estrogenic chemicals on reproductive variables, such as abnormal gonad structure and differentiation, intersexuality and sex reversal, decreased sperm count and expression of egg yolk protein in males are well established in many fish species. During the past years, studies in mammals and to some extent in fish have shown that EDC exposure during development affect not only fertility and reproduction, but also brain development and sexual and non-sexual behaviour, the immune system, metabolic functions, and increase the risk for disease later in life. Furthermore, the changes induced in the developing organism seems to be to a large extent irreversible, and new experimental data, so far on rodents only, indicate that the effects of treatment can be transmitted, by epigenetic mechanisms, to offspring several generations later. In light of possible trans-generational transmission of effects, it cannot be excluded that EDCs can affect long-term fitness in wildlife and human. In the present project, we want to study if transgenerational effects of EDCs can be identified also in fish. We will in connection to studies of reproductive and non-reproductive behaviours search for new biomarkers to identify inherited epigenetic changes. These biomarkers will later on be used to monitor the Baltic marine ecosystem for signs of multigenerational insult by endocrine disruption. As biomarkers to detect persistent effects of EDCs in wild populations are scare they will be useful even if trans-generational effects are not present. The following three main questions will be addressed: - Can EDCs give reproduction disturbing transgenerational effects in fish? - Can biomarkers of the persistent changes caused by EDCs be identified? – Do the persistent changes lead to trans-generational effects? - Can these biomarkers be used to indicate reproduction disturbances in natural fish populations?
Publications (1 of 1) Show all publications
Volkova, K., Caspillo, N. R., Porseryd, T., Hallgren, S., Dinnétz, P. & Porsch-Hällström, I. (2015). Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 17α-Ethinylestradiol affects non-reproductive behavior and fertility as adults, and increases anxiety in unexposed progeny. Hormones and Behavior, 73, 30-38
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 17α-Ethinylestradiol affects non-reproductive behavior and fertility as adults, and increases anxiety in unexposed progeny
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2015 (English)In: Hormones and Behavior, ISSN 0018-506X, E-ISSN 1095-6867, Vol. 73, p. 30-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Exposure to estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDCs) during of development affects fertility, reproductive and non-reproductive behavior in mammals and fish. These effects can also be transferred to coming generations. In fish, the effects of developmental EDC exposure on non-reproductive behavior is less well studied. Here, we analyze the effects of 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2) on anxiety, shoaling behavior and fertility in zebrafish after developmental treatment and remediation in clean water until adulthood. Zebrafish embryos were exposed from day 1 to day 80 post fertilization to actual concentrations of 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2. After remediation for 82days non-reproductive behavior and fertilization success were analyzed in both sexes. Males and females from the 1.2ng/L group, as well as control males and females, were bred, and behavior of the untreated F1 offspring was tested as adults. Developmental treatment with 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2 significantly increased anxiety in the Novel Tank test and increased shoaling intensity in both sexes. Fertilization success was significantly reduced by EE2 in both sexes when mated with untreated fish of opposite sex. Progeny of fish treated with 1.2ng/L EE2 showed increased anxiety in the Novel tank test and increased light avoidance in the Scototaxis test compared to control offspring. In conclusion, developmental exposure of zebrafish to low doses of EE2 resulted in persistent changes in behavior and fertility. The behavior of unexposed progeny were affected by their parents' exposure, which might suggest transgenerational effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Press, 2015
17α-Ethinylestradiol; Anxiety; Developmental exposure; Endocrine disruptors; F1 effects; Fertility; Neuroendocrinology; Social behavior; Stress behavior; Zebrafish
National Category
Biological Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27795 (URN)10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.05.014 (DOI)000360251800005 ()26072466 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84934983120 (Scopus ID)1556/42/2011 (Local ID)1556/42/2011 (Archive number)1556/42/2011 (OAI)
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A037-2008The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A065-2011
Available from: 2015-06-18 Created: 2015-06-18 Last updated: 2020-07-17Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorPorsch Hällström, Inger
Co-InvestigatorGrahn, Mats
Co-InvestigatorOlsén, Håkan
Co-InvestigatorBollner, Tomas
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
2009-01-01 - 2011-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Keywords [en]
Baltic and East European studies
National Category
Environmental SciencesBiochemistry and Molecular Biology
DiVA, id: project:1777Project, id: A037-2008_OSS

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