Effects of 17alpha-ethynylestradiol on hormonal responses and xenobiotic biotransformation system of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Research paper by Anne S AS Mortensen, Augustine A Arukwe

Indexed on: 19 Sep '07Published on: 19 Sep '07Published in: Aquatic Toxicology


Pharmaceuticals are ubiquitous pollutants in the aquatic environment where their potential effects on non-target species like fish has only recently become subject of systematic investigations. In the present study, experiments were undertaken to examine the effects of a synthetic pharmaceutical endocrine disruptor, ethynylestradiol (EE2), given in water at 5 or 50 ng/L and sampled at days 0 (control), 3 and 7 after exposure, on hepatic phase I and II biotransformation and hormonal pathways of juvenile salmon using quantitative (real-time) polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), Vtg ELISA and 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) catalytic activity. Our data show that EE2 produced time- and concentration-specific modulation of estrogen receptor isoforms (ERalpha, ERbeta) and androgen receptor-beta (ARbeta). EE2 produced a concentration-specific induction of vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata protein (Zr-protein) at day 3 after exposure. At day 7, Vtg and Zr-protein mRNA (and plasma Vtg protein) expression were significantly decreased in the group given 5 ng EE2/L, compared to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) control group. In the xenobiotic biotransformation pathway, EE2 produced a significant increase of aryl hydrocarbon receptor-alpha (AhRalpha) at day 3 in the group given 5 ng EE2/L and AhRbeta was decreased at the same concentration at day 7. While CYP3A was not significantly affected by EE2 exposure, the CYP1A1, AhR nuclear translocator (Arnt) and AhR repressor (AhRR) mRNA showed an apparent EE2 concentration and time-dependent decrease. The expression of uridine diphosphoglucuronosyl transferase (UGT) and glutathione S-transferase class pi-like (GSTpi-like) mRNA were decreased after exposure to 50ng EE2/L at both day 3 and 7 after exposure. The effect of EE2 on the CYP1A1 gene expressions paralleled effect on EROD and AhRR mRNA, suggesting a direct role of EE2 in controlling cellular detoxification machinery. Interestingly, the carrier vehicle, DMSO produced significant time-dependent induction of estrogenic (ERalpha, Vtg and Zr-protein) responses, compared with blank (i.e. without DMSO) controls at day 7 post-exposure. The effect of DMSO totally underscored the observed EE2 effect at day 7 after exposure. In general, these findings support previous reports on the endocrine effects of EE2, in addition to effects on hepatic biotransformation system. In view of the data presented here and our recent studies, the use of DMSO as carrier vehicle in endocrine toxicological experimental studies should be re-evaluated.