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Toxicological effects and reproductive impairments in female perch (Perca fluviatilis) exposed to leachate from Swedish refuse dumps
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2005 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 75, no 2, 162-177 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have previously found that leachate from a Swedish refuse dump caused toxicological effects, including endocrine disruption and reproductive failures, in feral female perch (Perca fluviatilis) from Molnbyggen and in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) from Vadbäcken. This raised concerns that leachate-induced toxicity might affect fish in other leachate-contaminated lakes. This study looks at female perch from three different regions in Sweden, focusing on toxicological biomarkers (skin lesions, liver-somatic index (LSI), ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity and DNA adducts) and reproductive biomarkers (number of mature females, gonadosomatic index (GSI), aromatase (P450arom), progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17α-OHP), testosterone (T) and 17β-estradiol (E2)). Five out of seven contaminated locations had lower numbers of mature females and most of them exhibited higher frequencies of fin erosion relative to their comparable reference sites. Females from Lake Nedre Vättern exhibited these effects, as well as body sores, high EROD activity, high levels of DNA adducts in the liver and the intestinal mucosa, low GSI and low plasma levels of T and E2, similar to the anti-estrogenic effects earlier found in SM perch from Molnbyggen in 1997 and in brook trout from Vadbäcken. No effects on LSI, GSI, aromatase, or circulating steroids were found in mature females from Molnbyggen in this study. This indicated less leachate-contamination, but low numbers of mature females in Lake Siljan, at the sewage treatment plant which now processes the leachate that earlier contaminated Molnbyggen and Vadbäcken, suggested insufficient sewage treatment at this site. All females in Lake Simshyttsjön were mature, and their high GSI and LSI, low EROD activity, high level of 17α-OHP and low level of T, suggest an estrogenic rather than an anti-estrogenic effect. The results show that our earlier findings in Molnbyggen and Vadbäcken are not common, but neither are they unique. This study also shows that refuse dumps should be considered as potential point-sources for environmental pollutants, and that uncontrolled leachate-contamination of lakes and freshwater reservoirs could be a serious environmental hazard for both wildlife and humans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 75, no 2, 162-177 p.
Keyword [en]
Reproductive failure; Sex steroids; Aromatase (P450arom); Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD); Hydrophobic DNA adducts; Refuse dump leachate
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25871DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2005.07.011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25871DiVA: diva2:200712
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically 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.
Keyword
landfill leachate, endocrine disruption, fish
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
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
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12Bibliographically approved

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