Journal Article

Transgenerational and Developmental Exposure of Japanese Medaka (<i>Oryzias latipes</i>) to Ethinylestradiol Results in Endocrine and Reproductive Differences in the Response to Ethinylestradiol as Adults

Christy M. Foran, Bethany N. Peterson and William H. Benson

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 68, issue 2, pages 389-402
Published in print August 2002 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online August 2002 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Transgenerational and Developmental Exposure of Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes) to Ethinylestradiol Results in Endocrine and Reproductive Differences in the Response to Ethinylestradiol as Adults

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17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE), a synthetic estrogen found in birth control pills, has been detected in the effluent of municipal wastewater treatment plants in several countries. Because EE was designed to be extremely potent at the estrogen receptor (ER), environmental exposure to low concentrations has the potential to disrupt the development of normal endocrine and reproductive function when exposure occurs during critical periods in development. Japanese medaka, Oryzias latipes, were used to evaluate the effect of exposure to EE during development on adult reproduction and endocrine function and the sensitivity of these animals to estrogen exposure as adults. To determine if the response to exogenous estrogen stimulation was diminished or sensitized, adults resulting from the developmental exposure groups were reexposed to EE at respectively higher concentrations. Hatchling exposure produced no changes in adult vitellogenin (VTG) content in the liver or circulating steroid concentrations, nor was reproduction affected. Reexposure of these adults inhibited reproduction, increased hepatic VTG and ER, and increased estrogen concentration measured in male plasma. Parental exposure produced permanent changes in hepatic content of ER and VTG in the adults resulting from exposure during gametogenesis and was related to a diminished response of males to subsequent estrogen exposure. The potential for this transgenerational exposure to decrease the responsiveness of males to EE is supported by comparing the concentration-response curves for hepatic VTG and ER in males exposed in ovo and as hatchlings. Our results indicate that the relationship between biomarkers and estrogen exposure will be altered by the timing and frequency of exposure.

Keywords: teleost; vitellogenin; steroid; development; differentiation

Journal Article.  10586 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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