Plasma vitellogenin (Vg) concentration is the most commonly used biomarker for assessing the estrogenic potency of endocrine disrupters (ED). However, this protein is not always induced in fish subjected to realistic exposure scenarios. Therefore the value of investigating the compromise of other physiological processes to develop alternative biomarkers is readily evident. Individually tagged rainbow trout were given different doses of 17β-estradiol (E2) or atrazine (A), through a single injection, or exposed to waterborne pulses of 4-nonylphenol (NP) or atrazine. The effects of agents on growth were dose dependent. The highest doses resulted in a linear relationship between specific growth rates and white muscle cell size, suggesting an increased contribution of growth through hypertrophy in ED-exposed fish. Vg was induced in fish injected with E2 suggesting these responses are related to endocrine disruption. A and NP as known estrogen-inducers failed to increase vitellogenin synthesis. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the Symposium "Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms" (Allesandria, Italy 6/19-23/2005).
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