Endocrine modulation, inhibition of ovarian development and hepatic alterations in rainbow trout exposed to polluted river water.

Research paper by Luigi L Viganò, Emilio E Benfenati, Sergio S Bottero, Alessandra A Cevasco, Martino M Monteverde, Alberta A Mandich

Indexed on: 25 Sep '10Published on: 25 Sep '10Published in: Environmental Pollution


Under laboratory conditions, female rainbow trout were exposed to graded concentrations of water from the River Lambro, a polluted tributary of the River Po, and to the effluent of a large wastewater treatment plant which flows into the River Lambro. In field exposures, trout were held in cages in the River Po upstream and downstream from the confluence of the River Lambro. After 10-day (laboratory) and 30-day (laboratory and field) exposures, trout were examined for several chemical, biochemical and histological endpoints. The results indicated that exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals, including estrogen receptor agonists, aryl-hydrocarbon receptor agonists, and probably antiandrogens, had occurred. Exposure altered the plasma levels of 17β-estradiol and testosterone, and some treatments also enhanced the activity of hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase. Gonadal histology showed varying levels of degenerative processes characterised by oocyte atresia, haemorrhages, melano-macrophage centres (MMCs), and oogonia proliferation. Liver histology showed less severe effects.