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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jan 15;41(2):424-30.

Levels, tissue distribution, and age-related accumulation of synthetic musk fragrances in Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis): comparison to organochlorines.

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College of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.


Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) was listed as a Grade I protected animal in China in 1989, and the observed intersexual phenomenon and sex ratio deviation have suggested that chemicals have posed a risk as environment pollutants. This study analyzed seven musk fragrances in liver, muscle, heart, gonad, stomach, intestines, adipose, gill, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, and roe from 13 female Chinese sturgeons, and the toxicokinetic behavior of musks were studied and compared with some organochlorines. Of the seven musks, HHCB, AHTN, and musk xylene were detected, and the highest concentrations were observed in adipose tissue: from 33.7 to 62.1 ng/g wet weight (ww), from 1.0 to 5.4 ng/g ww, and from 1.1 to 13 ng/g ww, respectively. Similar to the tissue distribution of DDTs and HCB, musks were detected frequently in high lipid content tissues such as roe, adipose, and liver, suggesting that tissue distribution of musks is controlled by the affinity to lipids. The concentration ratios based on lipid weight between roe and adipose were estimated to be 0.47 for HHCB, 0.58 for AHTN, and 0.51 for musk xylene, and those for the total DDTs and HCB were 0.27 and 0.61, which were relatively low compared with mammals. Relatively high concentrations of p,p'-DDE (68.4-449 ng/g ww) were detected in 10 of total 11 samples, which would cause the feminization of Chinese sturgeons during embryonic development. It was found that lipid-corrected concentrations of HHCB, AHTN, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDD increased with age in female sturgeon, of which the trends were similar to those in fishes and different from those in mammals.

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