Minimal Endocrine Alterations in Rodents after Consumption of Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush)

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Environmental Toxicology Chemistry





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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins are known to cause disruptions in circulating hormone concentrations, which may influence fertility and normal fetal development. Structure activity relationships have been determined for individual congeners, but it is unclear what impacts occur due to exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals found in the environment. Most laboratory studies of PCB exposure have used commercial mixtures in high doses, which may not be representative of environmental concentrations of individual congeners, nor accurately represent complex interactions of multiple contaminants. The present study investigated endocrine alterations in rats associated with the consumption of lake trout collected from three specific locations in the Great Lakes. Composite fish samples were analyzed for PCBs, organochlorines, and mercury and ranged from 415 ppb to 1,275 ppb for individual contaminants. Fillet composites were fed to timed-pregnant Long-Evans rats as 30% of their diet. Concentrations of total thyroxine and estrogen were not significantly different in offspring of dosed dams from that of controls. However, aromatase activity was lowered in all dosed groups as compared with controls. This may represent a lowered expression of the CYP 19 gene in exposed rats or may be due to the presence of one or more substances in the contaminants that are capable of altering the affinity of the aromatase enzyme for its normal endogenous substrate. It is also possible that the number of maturing follicles in the lake trout–fed rats may be fewer than controls, which would result in an overall reduction in the enzyme activity. Data regarding the endocrine effects of environmental contaminant mixtures found in fish from the Great Lakes Basin are still controversial. Additionally, information is scarce with respect to the F1 generation of laboratory animals following environmental maternal exposures, therefore, we investigated the reproductive-endocrine alterations in rat offspring associated with the consumption of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) collected from three areas in the Great Lakes.


Aromatase; Estrogen; Fishes – Mercury content; Great Lakes Region; Lake Trout; Organochlorine compounds; Polychlorinated biphenyls – Bioaccumulation; Rats; Salvelinus namaycush; Thyroxine


Environmental Sciences | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Toxicology




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