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Reproductive status in female perch (Perca fluviatilis) outside a sewage treatment plant processing leachate from a refuse dump
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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2005 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, Vol. 340, no 1-3, 97-112 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reproductive failure and endocrine disruption in female perch (Perca fluviatilis) and female brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), naturally exposed to toxic leachate from a municipal refuse dump, has raised concerns about the reproductive status in female fish outside the sewage treatment plant (STP), which now treats the same leachate. Female perch from the receiving water, Lake Siljan, were therefore sampled in a gradient from the STP in Fornby and Österviken and compared with reference females from Isunda or Sollerön. A high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) technique enabled the analysis of circulating steroids in blood plasma: the sex steroids progesterone (P), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17α-OHP), androstenedione (A), testosterone (T), estrone (E1), and 17β-oestradiol (E2), the maturation-inducing hormone (MIH) 17α,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17α,20β-P), and the glucocorticoids 11-deoxycortisol (11-DC) and cortisol (C). Body and organ measurements, ratio of sexually mature (SM) females, and frequencies of body lesions, were also recorded. The percentages of SM females found in Fornby on Oct 23 (83.8%) and in Österviken on May 14 (54.0%) were lower compared with Isunda (100%). The lack of differences in gonadosomatic index (GSI) and liver-somatic index (LSI) indicated a normal vitellogenesis in SM females from Fornby and Österviken. No differences in circulating levels of steroids were observed between the sites, except at the time of spawning, when elevated P and 17α-OHP levels in females from Österviken indicated a steroidogenic shift from the synthesis of sex steroids towards the production of the MIH 17α,20β-P. The significant peak-levels of both 17α,20β-P and 11-DC in female perch from Österviken at the same time suggest that both are involved in controlling final oocyte maturation in perch. The elevated levels of androgens (A and T) in females caught on the same occasion in Fornby implied that these females were at an earlier stage of oocyte maturation, prior to the steroidogenic shift towards MIH-production. This study confirms the results of an earlier study revealing low numbers of SM female perch outside the STP in Fornby. The lack of associated effects on organ indexes and circulating levels of steroids does not indicate exposure to endocrine disrupting substances (EDSs) from the treated sewage. The consistently high numbers of SM females in the northern part of Siljan suggest, however, that natural factors are not responsible for the reproductive failures in the southern part of the lake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 340, no 1-3, 97-112 p.
Keyword [en]
Reproductive failure; Steroid profiles; HRGC/HRMS; Refuse dump leachate; Sewage treatment plant; Perch (Perca fluviatilis)
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29476DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.08.010OAI: diva2:233481
Available from: 2009-09-01 Created: 2009-09-01 Last updated: 2009-09-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Development of GC-HRMS procedures for determination of naturally occuring polar compounds in various environmental applications 
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of GC-HRMS procedures for determination of naturally occuring polar compounds in various environmental applications 
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall objectives of this dissertation were to gain further understanding of the two following environmentally significant issues: (i) Determination of natural steroid hormones in blood plasma from perch (Perca fluviatilis) during a reproductive cycle and to evaluate the possibility of using the steroid composition as a biomarker for early signs of endocrine disruptive effects. (ii) Determination of dissolved free amino acids in size resolved airborne particles collected over the Arctic pack ice area (>80°N) in summer and to study their overall relationship with the ocean surface microlayer as a potential source.

 This was made possible by the development of two separate gas chromatographic–high resolution mass spectrometry methods. To enable separation with gas chromatography both steroids and amino acids had to be chemically modified to increase their volatility. The small sample volumes available and low concentrations of analytes required a multi-step clean-up procedure to enable determination.

 The results showed that the circulating levels of steroids in perch varied over the year and that the levels of some androgens were lower in female perch exposed to leachate from a refuse dump compare to unexposed perch, which may explain the decline in fertility observed for the former group. This also indicated that the steroid composition in the blood plasma may function as a sensitive biomarker.

 The levels of dissolved free amino acids were enriched in the submicrometer aerosol, peaking in sizes around 100nm aerodynamic diameter. These findings do support a previous assumption that the most likely source for these particles is the surface microlayer of the open water between the ice floes. The most likely exchange mechanism of biogenic matter between ocean and atmosphere is the bursting of bubbles at the surface of the leads. This mechanism would provide a very important and poorly understood link between cloud radiative properties and marine biochemistry in the summer high Arctic (>80°N) through the production of cloud condensation nuclei.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, 2009. 57 p.
GC-HRMS, steroid hormones, amino acids, perch, size-resolved aerosol, Arctic
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29283 (URN)978-91-7155-907-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-25, De Geer salen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Accepted. Paper 4: In progress. Paper 5: In progress.Available from: 2009-09-03 Created: 2009-08-20 Last updated: 2009-09-01Bibliographically approved

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