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An overview of estrogen-associated endocrine disruption in fishes: Evidence of effects on reproductive and immune physiology

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Abstract

Simply and perhaps intuitively defined, endocrine disruption is the abnormal modulation of normal hormonal physiology by exogenous chemicals. In fish, endocrine disruption of the reproductive system has been observed worldwide in numerous species and is known to affect both males and females. Observations of biologically relevant endocrine disruption most commonly occurs near waste water treatment plant outfalls, pulp and paper mills, and areas of high organic loading sometimes associated with agricultural practices. Estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EEDCs) have received an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of scientific attention compared to other EDCs in recent years. In male fishes, exposure to EEDCs can lead to the induction of testicular oocytes (intersex), measurable plasma vitellogenin protein, altered sex steroid profiles, abnormal spawning behavior, skewed population sex ratios, and lessened reproductive success. Interestingly, contemporary research purports that EDCs modulate aspects of non-reproductive physiology including immune function. Here we present an overview of endocrine disruption in fishes associated with estrogenic compounds, implications of this phenomenon, and examples of EDC related research findings by our group in the Potomac River Watershed, USA.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title An overview of estrogen-associated endocrine disruption in fishes: Evidence of effects on reproductive and immune physiology
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation
Publisher location Landover, MD
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Bridging America and Russia with shared perspectives on aquatic animal health: Proceedings of the Third Bilateral Conference between Russia and the United States
First page 266
Last page 275
Conference Title 3rd Bilateral Conference Between the United States and Russia
Conference Location Shepherdstown, WV
Conference Date July 12-20, 2009