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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Jan 3;46(1):51-9. doi: 10.1021/es201150a. Epub 2011 Aug 5.

Ecotoxicogenomics to support ecological risk assessment: a case study with bisphenol A in fish.

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  • 1Mid-Continent Ecology Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 6201 Congdon Blvd., Duluth, Minnesota, United States.


Effects of bisphenol A (BPA) on ovarian transcript profiles as well as targeted end points with endocrine/reproductive relevance were examined in two fish species, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), exposed in parallel using matched experimental designs. Four days of waterborne exposure to 10 μg BPA/L caused significant vitellogenin induction in both species. However, zebrafish were less sensitive to effects on hepatic gene expression and steroid production than fathead minnow and the magnitude of vitellogenin induction was more modest (i.e., 3-fold compared to 13,000-fold in fathead minnow). The concentration-response at the ovarian transcriptome level was nonmonotonic and violated assumptions that underlie proposed methods for estimating hazard thresholds from transcriptomic results. However, the nonmonotonic profile was consistent among species and there were nominal similarities in the functions associated with the differentially expressed genes, suggesting potential activation of common pathway perturbation motifs in both species. Overall, the results provide an effective case study for considering the potential application of ecotoxicogenomics to ecological risk assessments and provide novel comparative data regarding effects of BPA in fish.

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