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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2014 Mar;101:168-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.11.027. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Dehydroabietic acid (DHAA) alters metabolic enzyme activity and the effects of 17β-estradiol in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

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University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada L1H 7K4.
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada L1H 7K4. Electronic address:


Recent studies have shown that dehydroabietic acid (DHAA), a resin acid present in pulp and paper mill effluent, affects liver energy metabolism and may have anti-estrogenic effects in fish. A chronic-exposure toxicity experiment using immature rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was conducted in order to assess the endocrine disrupting and liver metabolic effects of the model estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) and the wood extractives DHAA and β-sitosterol (BS), regularly present in pulp and paper mill effluents. Exposure to 5ppm of E2 significantly increased hepatosomatic index (HSI), vitellogenin (VTG) and plasma sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH). This latter effect was reduced by mixing E2 with DHAA, indicating that DHAA does not cause its endocrine disrupting effects indirectly due to liver damage. Exposure to 0.5ppm of DHAA as well as all the DHAA mixed treatments caused significant increases in liver citrate synthase (CS), activity after 7 days, however, the fish returned to control values by 28 days. Results indicate that DHAA may alter metabolic enzyme activity as well as alter the effects of E2 in juvenile rainbow trout.


Chronic exposure; Dehydroabietic acid; Estradiol; Metabolic enzyme; Sorbitol dehydrogenase; Vitellogenin

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