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Vitellogenin detection in surface mucus of the South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840) induced by estradiol-17β: effects on liver and gonads
Moncaut, N.; Lo Nostro, F.; Maggese, M.C. (2003). Vitellogenin detection in surface mucus of the South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840) induced by estradiol-17β: effects on liver and gonads. Aquat. Toxicol. 63(2): 127-137
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Cichlids; Estradiol; Liver; Mucus; Pathology; Testes; Vitellogenesis; Cichlasoma dimerus (Heckel, 1840); Cichlidae Bonaparte, 1835 [WoRMS]; South America [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Moncaut, N.
  • Lo Nostro, F.
  • Maggese, M.C., correspondent

Abstract
    During the last decade, special attention has been focused on the consequences of exposure to environmental estrogens on reproduction in wild fish species. For this reason, characterization of biomarkers of such exposures could result in useful tools for these studies. The detection of vitellogenin (Vtg), a precursor of yolk proteins, is being intensely studied since its synthesis in the liver is regulated by the estradiol-17β and is influenced by other estrogenic compounds. The aim of this work was to assess the presence of Vtg in the surface mucus of males of Cichlasoma dimerus (Teleostei, Perciformes), a typical South American freshwater cichlid, after hormonal treatment with estradiol-17β (intraperitoneal injections of 10 μg E2/g fish). Plasma and mucus from females and treated males analyzed by Western blot revealed that different heterologous antisera against Vtg bind to putative protein of 180 & 120 kDa and 120 & 110 kDa, respectively, whereas no reaction was found in samples of untreated males. The same profile was observed in mucus samples using Dot blot, a very easy and direct technique. Using immunocytochemistry techniques, immunoreactive Vtg (ir-Vtg) producing cells in the liver of females and treated males were detected. Testes and liver tissues were also assessed by histological techniques. Marked alterations in both organs were observed, such as lower sperm production, presence of immature germ cells in the lobular lumen of testes, and some morphology changes in the hepatocytes due to the accumulation of Vtg. This is the first report about the effects of an estrogen in the Vtg synthesis and their consequences on liver and gonads of a South American fresh water cichlid. These results also support the possibility of using Vtg from surface mucus as a potential biomarker for estrogenic compounds through a noninvasive, useful and easy assay to monitor the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment.

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