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Environ Health Perspect. 1996 Oct;104(10):1096-101.

Vitellogenin induction and reduced serum testosterone concentrations in feral male carp (Cyprinus carpio) captured near a major metropolitan sewage treatment plant.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561, USA.


Endocrine disrupting chemicals can potentially alter the reproductive physiology of fishes. To test this hypothesis, serum was collected from common carp (Cyprinus carpio) at five riverine locations in Minnesota. Male fish collected from an effluent channel below the St. Paul metropolitan sewage treatment plant had significantly elevated serum egg protein (vitellogenin) concentrations and significantly decreased serum testosterone concentrations compared to male carp collected from the St. Croix River, classified as a National Wild and Scenic River. Carp collected from the Minnesota River, which receives significant agricultural runoff, also exhibited depressed serum testosterone concentrations, but no serum vitellogenin was apparent. These data suggest that North American rivers are receiving estrogenic chemicals that are biologically active, as has been reported in Great Britain.

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