Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Steroid biosynthetic enzyme activities in leachate-exposed female perch (Perca fluviatilis) as biomarkers for endocrine disruption
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Show others and affiliations
2006 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 366, no 2-6, 638-648 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that adult female perch in a freshwater lake, Molnbyggen, Sweden, have a reproductive disorder caused by unidentified endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) leaching from a local refuse dump. The adverse effects include shallow open sores, low ratio of sexually mature individuals, low gonadosomatic index and low circulating levels of androgens. We hypothesised that the low androgen levels could be a result of impaired production and/or stimulated excretion of androgens by EDCs.

From October 2000 to November 2001, at time-points important in the perch reproductive cycle, adult female perch were collected in Molnbyggen and in the reference lake, Djursjön. The activities of three key enzymes in androgen biosynthesis: 17α-hydroxylase (17OHlase), 17,20-lyase (lyase) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17βHSD) were determined in head kidney or ovary. The relationship between enzyme activities and plasma steroid concentrations was examined. Ovarian histopathology and the determination of brain aromatase activity were also included in the study.

Similar 17OHlase, 17βHSD and aromatase activities were found in Molnbyggen females and reference fish throughout the year. Head kidney 17OHlase showed a positive correlation to cortisol levels (r = 0.754; p < 0.001) but not to androgen levels. Molnbyggen females exhibited lower ovarian lyase activity during vitellogenesis than reference fish. Atretic oocytes were on most occasions more frequent in sexually immature than in sexually mature females. The results suggest that neither 17OHlase, 17βHSD nor aromatase is the target for EDCs disrupting the androgen homeostasis of exposed female perch. Further investigation is needed to establish the role of decreased ovarian lyase activity in endocrine homeostasis, but the possibility of increased excretion of androgens should also be examined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2006. Vol. 366, no 2-6, 638-648 p.
Keyword [en]
Reproductive failure; Aromatase; 17, 20-lyase; 17α-hydroxylase; 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; Refuse dump leachate
National Category
Biological Sciences Zoology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25868DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.01.023OAI: diva2:200709
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2011-01-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biochemical characterisation of landfill leachate toxicity in fish
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biochemical characterisation of landfill leachate toxicity in fish
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Deposition remains the most common form of waste disposal in many parts of the world. As a terminus of the products consumed in our society a landfill may contain virtually all sorts of man-made chemicals. Despite this, the harmfulness of landfill leachate has not been extensively evaluated in feral organisms in the environment. In a leachate-contaminated lake, Molnbyggen, in Sweden, our studies reported a low percent of sexually mature (SM) female perch (Perca fluviatilis) that had decreased plasma androgen levels, decreased brain aromatase activity, distinctive sores and fin erosion. The impairments were attributed to unidentified compound(s) present in the leachate. In one out of four other investigated leachate-contaminated lakes, the low percent of SM female perch had reduced plasma sex steroid levels and similar sores as perch in Molnbyggen. The biochemical mechanism causing the disorders was investigated in order to establish a connection between the impairments and possible causative compound(s). Plasma levels of progesterone and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone were unaffected. Ovarian 17,20-lyase activity was decreased while levels of biliary steroid conjugates and hepatic testosterone UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity did not differ between exposed and reference SM fish. Furthermore, the decreased brain aromatase activity seems to be a secondary effect; possibly a result of low substrate availability. Altogether, this suggests a possible disruption in the synthesis of androgens, knowledge that could be used as a tool in biomarker-directed fractionation studies to pinpoint compound(s). Molnbyggen sediment extracts decreased the testosterone and estradiol concentrations in whole-body homogenates of zebrafish (Danio rerio) after a three week exposure period. This suggests that compound(s) with the potency to alter endocrine function are present in the sediment. Although the first steps have been taken towards identifying compound(s) responsible for this kind of reproductive impairments, they still remain unidentified. Measures have to be taken to identify harmful chemicals in our society, to reduce their number, and to minimise their uncontrolled dispersal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för tillämpad miljövetenskap (ITM), 2006. 44 p.
landfill leachate, endocrine disruption, fish
National Category
Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951 (URN)91-7155-232-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-05-12, Ahlmansalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Zebühr, YngveBalk, Lennart
By organisation
Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
In the same journal
Science of the Total Environment
Biological SciencesZoology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 51 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link