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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2016 Dec;35(12):2916-2930. doi: 10.1002/etc.3475. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Kinetic determination of vitellogenin induction in the epidermis of cyprinid and perciform fishes: Evaluation of sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

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Gobio-Institute for Ecology of Waters & Applied Biology, Aarbergen, Hesse, Germany.
TECOdevelopment, Rheinbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, Idstein, Hesse, Germany.
IBACON, Rossdorf, Hesse, Germany.


Induction of vitellogenin (VTG) in male and immature fish is a standardized endpoint in endocrine-disruption testing. To establish a nondestructive swab sampling method, VTG induction in the epidermis of Cypriniformes and Perciformes species was investigated. Both VTG and estrogen receptor genes are expressed in epidermal cells. Immunoaffinity and mass fingerprint analyses show induction of identical VTG peptides in liver and epidermis. Induction of VTG by estradiol (E2) and bisphenol A (BPA) in the epidermis was quantified with homolog enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Initial values in juveniles and males were below 1 ng VTG/mL extraction buffer. Exposure to E2 led to values between 200 ng/mL and 4600 ng/mL in cyprinids and between 10 ng/mL and 81 ng/mL in perciforms. Exposure to BPA increased VTG amounts to 250 ng/mL in fathead minnows, 1360 ng/mL in goldfish, 100 ng/mL in zebrafish, and 12 ng/mL in bluegills. Serum VTG contents demonstrated a similar dose-response pattern in the epidermis and the blood. These results show that VTG induction may be reliably assessed in the skin mucus of fishes, demonstrating the suitability of this biological sample for investigating estrogenic activity in compliance with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standard protocols. This broadens the perspectives in toxicological screening and environmental monitoring, reducing the number of tested animals and minimizing harmful effects for animals, allowing for follow-up of individual induction profiles. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2916-2930. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.


Cyprinidae; Endocrine disrupting chemical; Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; Perciformes; Vitellogenin

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