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Seasonal variation of plasmatic and hepatic vitellogenin and EROD activity in carp, Cyprinus carpio, in relation to sewage treatment plants
Solé, M.; Barceló, D.; Porte, C. (2002). Seasonal variation of plasmatic and hepatic vitellogenin and EROD activity in carp, Cyprinus carpio, in relation to sewage treatment plants. Aquat. Toxicol. 60(3-4): 233-248
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Endocrine disruptors; Sewage treatment; Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Spain [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

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  • Solé, M.
  • Barceló, D.
  • Porte, C.

    Concern about the health of aquatic fauna living in waters containing biologically active levels of estrogenic compounds is particularly focused on the effects on their reproductive success. To that end, carp, Cyprinus carpio, a feral fish living in warm waters of Southern Europe (NE Spain), were selected for signs of estrogenicity. The study area covered two tributaries (the Anoia and the Cardener) of the Llobregat River both known to be polluted by estrogenic compounds. The estrogenicity in the carp was measured as vitellogenin (VTG) presence in males and alterations in VTG levels in females, over a 6-month period, embracing both the pre- and post-spawning seasons. VTG content was measured in both the plasma and liver, the latter being the organ that synthesizes it. Also, hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was recorded, as interactions of xenoestrogens and oestradiol have been reported to affect this enzymatic activity. The estrogenicity of these rivers was more evident in the Anoia at the location downstream from the sewage treatment plant (STP), by elevated levels of VTG in males and by the presence of some intersex individuals. In the Cardener, no intersex fish were found and male plasmatic VTG was not so highly elevated. However presence of hepatic VTG, in up to 54% of the male fish analyzed, proved exposure to xenoestrogens. In females, VTG fluctuated according to the biological cycle with a plasmatic peak in May and an earlier maximal in the liver. However, this pattern was altered in the locations with higher xenoestrogens presence. EROD activity showed differences between sexes, with higher activity in males than females, as well as site-related differences (up to one order of magnitude) in the same river. These differences were even greater than those detected between rivers. A seasonal trend was also seen in EROD activity with higher induction towards the summer in both males and females.

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