Exposure of female juvenile rainbow trout to alkylphenolic compounds results in modifications to growth and ovosomatic index

Ashfield, Lindsey A.; Pottinger, Tom G.; Sumpter, John P.. 1998 Exposure of female juvenile rainbow trout to alkylphenolic compounds results in modifications to growth and ovosomatic index. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 17 (3). 679-686.

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The alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs) are a major group of non-ionic surfactants. Biodegradation of these compounds is incomplete during sewage treatment, thus they are ubiquitous aquatic pollutants. All the main degradation products of APEOs have recently been demonstrated to have estrogenic properties in vitro, but their effects in vivo remain to be established. In this study, female juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) were exposed to octylphenol (OP), nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol diethoxylate (NP2EO) and nonylphenol mono-carboxylic acid (NP1EC) at environmentally relevant concentrations (Experiment 1: 1, 10 and 50 ug/L; Experiment 2: 1, 10 and 30 ug/L). Exposure to APEO’s commenced at hatch (day 0) and was terminated on day 22 (Expt. 1) or day 35 (Expt. 2). Body weight and fork length of representative samples of fish from each treatment group were recorded at intervals up to 108 days (Expt. 1) or 466 days (Expt. 2). In Experiment 1, significant differences in size of the exposed fish, related to treatment, were still apparent on day 108, 86 days after withdrawal of the treatments. These observations were confirmed during Experiment 2, in which significant changes in body weight and fork length as a consequence of exposure to the compounds were observed approximately 15 days after exposure was terminated. These differences were sustained for at least 466 days in the case of NP and NP1EC. In addition, the ovosomatic index (OSI) of fish exposed to NP and NP1EC was significantly affected by the treatment. Survival of fish in the natural environment is strongly influenced by body size, and an appropriate OSI is a crucial factor in successful reproduction. Therefore, exposure of natural populations of fish to these chemicals at concentrations currently measurable in the aquatic environment may have an impact on the performance of those populations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0730-7268
Additional Keywords: alkylphenol ethoxylate, growth, gonadosomatic index, rainbow trout, endocrine disruption, reproduction
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 27 Jul 2015 12:53 +0 (UTC)

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