In vivo and in vitro assessment of the androgenic ...

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Title In vivo and in vitro assessment of the androgenic potential of a pulp and paper mill effluent
Author(s) R. J. Ellis, Michael R. van den Heuvel, E. Bandelj, M. A. Smith, L. H. McCarthy, T. R. Stuthridge, D. R. Dietrich
Journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry / SETAC
Date 2003
Volume 22
Issue 7
Start page 1448
End page 1456
Abstract The androgenic potential of a New Zealand pulp and paper mill effluent was measured by applying a combination of in vitro and in vivo bioassays with mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and goldfish (Carassius auratus). The in vivo method assessed the rate of gonopodial development (masculinization) and alterations from normal reproductive behavior in adult female mosquitofish exposed for 21 d to untreated or secondary-treated pulp mill effluent. A second in vivo mosquitofish exposure tested the effect of glass-fiber (type C) filtration of secondary-treated effluent on rates of expression of the same endpoints. Extractable organics analyses of effluents and extracts thereof were conducted. Mosquitofish demonstrated significant masculinization on exposure to either treated or untreated effluent; the frequency of gonopodial development was reduced with effluent secondary-treatment. Male mating behavior was observed in the masculinized adult females. Glass-fiber (type F) filtration of the treated effluent eliminated the masculinizing effect, suggesting that the bioactive compounds were associated with the suspended solids. The in vitro method measured the binding of compounds within a treated thermomechanical/bleached kraft effluent extract to androgen receptors contained in goldfish testis cytosol. Exposure to extracts of either the particulate (glass-fiber filtered) or the dissolved organic fraction of the effluent produced significant binding (as indicated by the displacement of radiolabeled testosterone) to the androgen receptor in goldfish gonadal tissue. Thus, the dissolved organics extract of the treated effluent contained compounds androgenic to goldfish in vitro but not to mosquitofish in vivo. The combined in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the effluent in question could exert effects on the reproductive physiology of fishes through an androgenic mechanism. The androgenic compounds androstenedione and testosterone were not detected in the extracts used for the in vitro component of this study.

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