Population declines of anadromous salmonids are attributed to anthropogenic disturbances including dams, commercial and recreational fisheries, and pollutants, such as estrogenic compounds. Nonylphenol (NP), a xenoestrogen, is widespread in the aquatic environment due to its use in agricultural, industrial, and household products. We exposed Atlantic salmon yolk-sac larvae to waterborne 10 or 100 ??g L-1 NP (NP-L or NP-H, respectively), 2 ??g L-1 17??-estradiol (E2), or vehicle, for 21 days to investigate their effects on smolt physiology and behavior 1 year later. NP-H caused approximately 50% mortality during exposure, 30 days after exposure, and 60 days after exposure. Mortality rates of NP-L and E2 fish were not affected until 60 days after treatment, when they were 4-fold greater than those of controls. Treatment with NP-L or E2 as yolk-sac larvae decreased gill sodium-potassium-activated adenosine triphosphatase (Na+,K +-ATPase) activity and seawater (SW) tolerance during smolt development, 1 year after exposure. Exposure to NP-L and E2 resulted in a latency to enter SW and reduced preference for SW approximately 2- and 5-fold, respectively. NP-L-exposed fish had 20% lower plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels and 35% lower plasma triiodothyronine (T3). Plasma growth hormone and thyroxine (T4) were unaffected. Exposure to E2 did not affect plasma levels of IGF-I, GH, T3, or T4. Both treatment groups exhibited increased plasma Cortisol and decreased osmoregulatory capacity in response to a handling stressor. These results suggest that early exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of NP, and other estrogenic compounds, can cause direct and delayed mortalities and that this exposure can have long term, "organizational" effects on life-history events in salmonids. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.
Additional Publication Details
Larval exposure to 4-nonylphenol and 17??-estradiol affects physiological and behavioral development of seawater adaptation in Atlantic salmon smolts