Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Jun;112(8):898-902.

Endocrine disruption and altered gonadal development in white perch (Morone americana) from the lower Great Lakes region.

Author information

Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8, Canada.


High prevalences of gonadal intersex have been observed in wild fish populations in areas affected by domestic and industrial effluents. For this study, fish were collected in 1998 from the Cootes Paradise region of Hamilton Harbour in western Lake Ontario, Canada, to determine whether gonadal abnormalities, including intersex, were present in young of the year (YOY) fish. No gonadal abnormalities were observed in goldfish (Carassius auratus), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), brown bullhead (Ictalurus ameiurus), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). However, intersex gonads were observed in 8 of 16 male white perch (Morone americana) examined in this survey. Subsequently, in 1999 and 2000 white perch estimated to be YOY to approximately 2 years of age were collected from Cootes Paradise and from two other sites in the lower Great Lakes region. Gonadal intersex was observed in male white perch collected from the Bay of Quinte (22-44%) and Lake St. Clair (45%), although the prevalence and the extent of the intersex condition were lower relative to the 83% prevalence in white perch collected in Cootes Paradise. Intersex was not observed in hatchery-reared white perch or in white perch collected from an uncontaminated reference site (i.e., Deal Lake) in the United States. An analysis of plasma collected in the spring of 2002 from male adult white perch in Cootes Paradise revealed high concentrations of vitellogenin, ranging from 49 to 1,711 microg/mL. These observations indicate that male white perch are exposed to estrogenic endocrine-disrupting substances that may be responsible for the induction of gonadal intersex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center