Persistent organochlorine pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are stable, bioaccumulative, and widely found in the environment, wildlife, and the human population. To explore the hypothesis that reproduction in male fish is associated with environmental exposures in the lower Columbia River (LCR), reproductive and endocrine parameters were studied in male resident, non-anadromous largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus) (LSS) in the same habitats as anadromous salmonids having conservation status. Testes, thyroid tissue and plasma collected in 2010 from Longview (LV), Columbia City (CC), and Skamania (SK; reference) were studied. Sperm morphologies and thyrocyte heights were measured by light microscopy, sperm motilities by computer-assisted sperm motion analysis, sperm adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with luciferase, and plasma vitellogenin (VTG), thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3) by immunoassay. Sperm apoptosis, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, nuclear DNA fragmentation, and reproductive stage were measured by flow cytometry. Sperm quality parameters (except counts) and VTG were significantly different among sites, with correlations between VTG and 7 sperm parameters. Thyrocyte heights, T4, T3, gonadosomatic index and Fulton's condition factor differed among sites, but not significantly. Sperm quality was significantly lower and VTG higher where liver contaminants and water estrogen equivalents were highest (LV site). Total PCBs (specifically PCB-138, -146, -151, -170, -174, -177, -180, -183, -187, -194, and -206) and total PBDEs (specifically BDE-47, -100, -153, and -154) were negatively correlated with sperm motility. PCB-206 and BDE-154 were positively correlated with DNA fragmentation, and pentachloroanisole and VTG were positively correlated with sperm apoptosis and negatively correlated with ATP. BDE-99 was positively correlated with sperm counts and motility; T4 was negatively correlated with counts and positively correlated with motility, thus indicating possible androgenic mechanisms and thyroid endocrine disruption. Male LSS proved to be an informative model for studying reproductive and endocrine biomarkers in the LCR.
Additional publication details
Assessing reproductive and endocrine parameters in male largescale suckers (Catostomus macrocheilus) along a contaminant gradient in the lower Columbia River, USA