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Biochemical characterisation of landfill leachate toxicity in fish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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 [en]
landfill leachate, endocrine disruption, fish
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951ISBN: 91-7155-232-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-951DiVA: diva2:200713
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
List of papers
1. Altered steroid metabolism in several teleost species exposed to endocrine disrupting substances in refuse dump leachate
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Altered steroid metabolism in several teleost species exposed to endocrine disrupting substances in refuse dump leachate
2003 In: General and comparative endocrinology, ISSN 0016-6480, Vol. 134, no 3, 273-284 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25867 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12Bibliographically approved
2. Steroid biosynthetic enzyme activities in leachate-exposed female perch (Perca fluviatilis) as biomarkers for endocrine disruption
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Steroid biosynthetic enzyme activities in leachate-exposed female perch (Perca fluviatilis) as biomarkers for endocrine disruption
Show others...
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
Keyword
Reproductive failure; Aromatase; 17, 20-lyase; 17α-hydroxylase; 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; Refuse dump leachate
National Category
Biological Sciences Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25868 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.01.023 (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Seasonal hepatic steroid UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity and steroid metabolites in the bile of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and response to leachate exposure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seasonal hepatic steroid UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activity and steroid metabolites in the bile of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and response to leachate exposure
Show others...
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25869 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12Bibliographically approved
4. Sex steroids in the female zebrafish (Danio rerio). Effects of cyproterone acetate and leachate-contaminated sediment extract
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sex steroids in the female zebrafish (Danio rerio). Effects of cyproterone acetate and leachate-contaminated sediment extract
2006 (English)In: Aquatic Toxicology, ISSN 0166-445X, E-ISSN 1879-1514, Vol. 79, no 2, 192-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Molnbyggen, a leachate-contaminated lake in Sweden, effects on the reproductive system of perch included a decreased frequency of sexually mature female perch, reduced gonadosomatic index and decreased plasma levels of androstenedione and testosterone, but the contaminants responsible for these effects have not yet been identified. A biomarker-directed fractionation approach could be used to narrow the search for the compound(s) responsible for the adverse effects in Molnbyggen female perch. Thus, it is important to develop and test a suitable biomarker, which can be used in this type of approach. We evaluated if decreased concentrations of sex steroids could work as an in vivo end-point in female zebrafish fed an organic extract of bottom sediments from Molnbyggen. The responsiveness of zebrafish to endocrine alteration was evaluated using a positive control substance, cyproterone acetate (CA), which is known to inhibit steroid biosynthesis. After the 21-day exposure period the concentrations of testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) were successfully determined by HRGC/HRMS in whole-body homogenates of individual fish. Median T concentrations were 1.7 pmol/g fish in controls and were decreased after exposure both to CA (0.55 pmol/g fish) and Molnbyggen sediment extract (1.2–1.3 pmol/g fish). Median E2 concentrations were 5.3 pmol/g fish in controls and were decreased after CA exposure (2.3 pmol/g fish) and after exposure to Molnbyggen sediment extract (4.0–4.5 pmol/g fish). This suggests that sex steroid concentrations in zebrafish are responsive to endocrine alteration and indicates that compounds with endocrine altering potency are present in Molnbyggen sediments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V, 2006
Keyword
Zebrafish; Sex steroids; Cyproterone acetate; Leachate; Sediment; Endocrine disruption
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25870 (URN)10.1016/j.aquatox.2006.06.011 (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
5. Toxicological effects and reproductive impairments in female perch (Perca fluviatilis) exposed to leachate from Swedish refuse dumps
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toxicological effects and reproductive impairments in female perch (Perca fluviatilis) exposed to leachate from Swedish refuse dumps
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.

Keyword
Reproductive failure; Sex steroids; Aromatase (P450arom); Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD); Hydrophobic DNA adducts; Refuse dump leachate
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25871 (URN)10.1016/j.aquatox.2005.07.011 (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-951Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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