State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010ND215B
Title: Uptake and effects of environmental estrogens on growth of fish
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/ 1/2011
Congressional District: 01
Focus Categories: Ecology, Non Point Pollution, Water Quality
Keywords: Environmental estrogens, Uptake in fish, Aquatic ecosystems, Agriculture, Rainbow trout, Growth Hormone
Principal Investigator: Sheridan, mark (North Dakota State University)
Federal Funds: $ 3,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 6,000
Abstract: A broad spectrum of natural and synthetic compounds that mimic estrogen exists. Environmental estrogens (EE) include endogenous and synthetic animal estrogens (e.g., 17β-estradiol), phytoestrogens (β-sitosterol, ), mycotoxins (e.g., zearalenone), organochlorine pesticides (e.g., DDT), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and alkylphenol polyethoxylates (APEs; e.g., 4-nonylphenol). EE enter soil and water through agricultural (including farm animal production) and veterinary (e.g., diethylstilbesterol, estradiol cypionte; widely used in dogs, cats, and horses) application, manufacturing, natural hydrological processes, and watershed/waste water management practices. Despite the fact that many EE are found at levels below the legal limit, the potential long-term impact of chronic exposure to low levels is not clear, especially given that EE are rapidly transferred through the food web, accumulate in tissues, and can have epigenetic effects to affect progeny. EE are particularly harmful to aquatic wildlife, primarily fish, and cause a variety of detrimental development and reproduction effects (e.g., sex reversal, sterility, altered reproductive timing and behavior) that result in reduced fecundity (Kime, 1998). The long-term impact of EE on population and community structure via epigenetic and transgeneration effects is not well understood. Moreover, virtually nothing has been reported regarding the effects of EE on organismal growth. Expanded research on EE is critical in order to assess the threat posed to aquatic wildlife as well as to human consumers of these aquatic organisms. The goal of this project is to use rainbow trout as a model species to assess the biotic contribution to the fate of environmental estrogens in aquatic ecosystems by measuring their uptake and metabolism and by evaluating their impact on animal health as assessed by organismal growth. The hypothesis of this project is that environmental estrogens are taken up by rainbow trout from water and alter postembryonic growth by modulating the growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) system.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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