Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been detected in surface waters worldwide and can lead to developmental and reproductive disruption in exposed fishes. In the US Great Plains, EDCs are impacting streams and rivers and may be causing adverse reproductive effects. To examine how estrogenic EDCs might affect reproductive success of plains fishes, we experimentally exposed male red shiners (Cyprinella lutrensis) to exogenous 17b-estradiol. We characterized the effects of estradiol on male gonadal histology and secondary sexual characteristics, determined whether exposure reduced reproductive success, and examined the effects of depuration. Adults were exposed to a mean concentration of 70 ng L-1 estradiol, a solvent control, or a water control for at least 83 days. Male exposure to estradiol resulted in elevated plasma vitellogenin concentrations, changes in spermatogenesis, reduced mating coloration and tubercles, altered mating behaviors, and reduced reproductive success with no viable progeny produced. Reproductive endpoints improved upon depuration (28 days). Exposure to estradiol had significant adverse effects on red shiners, indicating that wild populations may face developmental and reproductive difficulties if they are chronically exposed to estradiol.
Additional Publication Details
Reproductive failure of the red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) after exposure to an exogenous estrogen
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences