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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2012 Feb;62(2):314-22. doi: 10.1007/s00244-011-9690-y. Epub 2011 Jun 26.

Vitellogenin induction and reproductive status in wild Chilean flounder Paralichthys adspersus (Steindachner, 1867) as biomarkers of endocrine disruption along the marine coast of the South Pacific.

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  • 1Programa de Investigacion Marina de Excelencia (PIMEX-Nueva Aldea), Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanograficas, Universidad de Concepcion, Casilla 160-C, Barrio Universitario s/n, Concepción, Chile.


This study evaluated the condition factor, gonadosomatic, and hepatosomatic indexes, occurrence of plasmatic vitellogenin (Vg), and frequency of spermatogenic maturity stages in male Chilean flounders, Paralichthys adspersus, caught at three different coastal sites off the Bio-Bio region, central Chile, during 1 year. The Vg was detected by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with sodium dodecyl sulfate and Western blot analyses using an antibody against Chilean flounder Vg. The spermatogenic maturity stages were analyzed by histological gonadic diagnostic. The prevalence of plasmatic Vg induction in male fish differed significantly among sites. The flounders sampled from the Itata area were the most affected. Evaluations of biometric data, plasmatic Vg induction, and spermatogenic maturity stages of the flounder showed the following: (1) lower gonadosomatic index, (2) greater hepatosomatic index, (3) greater prevalence of plasmatic Vg, and (4) delayed development of the gonad. The results suggest that estrogenic endocrine-disruption compounds are introduced into the marine environment, negatively affecting the fish studied. The relevance of this report is discussed in relation to estrogenic compounds introduced by industrial and municipal wastewater effluents in the areas studied.

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