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Aquat Toxicol. 2010 May 10;97(4):353-60. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Effects of pulp and paper mill effluent extractives on aromatase CYP19a gene expression and sex steroid levels in juvenile triploid rainbow trout.

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Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON, Canada L1H7K4.


We evaluated plasma testosterone (T) and 17beta-estradiol (E2) levels and ovarian aromatase CYP19a gene expression following a single intraperitoneal injection of Chilean pulp and paper mill effluent extracts into juvenile triploid rainbow trout. Fish injected with untreated effluent extracts had increased plasma T after 4 days, while plasma E2 concentration was increased in fish injected with both primary and secondary treated effluent extracts at the same sampling period. Ovarian CYP19a gene expression as measured by qRT-PCR was significantly induced in fish injected with the untreated, primary and secondary treated pulp and paper mill effluent extracts. Similar induction of CYP19a expression was found in fish injected with the androgens androstenedione (ADD) and T. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was conducted in order to identify structure in relationships between all measured variables and identifying which factors were most responsible for the variance observed within the plasma steroid levels, upregulation of ovarian CYP19a gene expression and the final estrogenic effect of increased plasma VTG levels. This analysis indicated a cluster correlation between plasma T levels and CYP19a gene expression (Factor 1, explaining 27.2% of total variance), a cluster including condition factor and liver somatic index (Factor 2, explaining 17.3%) and an additional cluster including plasma E2 and vitellogenin levels (Factor 3, explaining an additional 15.8%). The present results indicate that Chilean pulp and paper mill effluent extracts cause estrogenic effects in triploid rainbow trout. These effects could be related to the compounds present in the effluent that act as estrogen receptor agonists, or that induce changes leading to increased amounts of endogenous estrogens, reflected by increased E2 levels and induced aromatase expression/activity.

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