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Title: Evidence of temperature-dependent effects on the estrogenic response of fish: implications with regard to climate change
Authors: Brian, JV
Harris, CA
Runnalls, TJ
Fantinati, A
Pojana, G
Marcomini, A
Booy, P
Lamoree, M
Kortenkamp, A
Sumpter, JP
Keywords: Estrogen;Endocrine disruption;Mixture;Vitellogenin;Risk assessment;Temperature;Climate change
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Science of The Total Environment , 397(1-3): 72 - 81, Jul 2008
Abstract: Chemical risk assessment is fraught with difficulty due to the problem of accounting for the effects of mixtures. In addition to the uncertainty arising from chemical-to-chemical interactions, it is possible that environmental variables, such as temperature, influence the biological response to chemical challenge, acting as confounding factors in the analysis of mixture effects. Here, we investigate the effects of temperature on the response of fish to a defined mixture of estrogenic chemicals. It was anticipated that the response to the mixture may be exacerbated at higher temperatures, due to an increase in the rate of physiological processing. This is a pertinent issue in view of global climate change. Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were exposed to the mixture in parallel exposure studies, which were carried out at different temperatures (20 and 30 degrees C). The estrogenic response was characterised using an established assay, involving the analysis of the egg yolk protein, vitellogenin (VTG). Patterns of VTG gene expression were also analysed using real-time QPCR. The results revealed that there was no effect of temperature on the magnitude of the VTG response after 2 weeks of chemical exposure. However, the analysis of mixture effects at two additional time points (24 h and 7 days) revealed that the response was induced more rapidly at the higher temperature. This trend was apparent from the analysis of effects both at the molecular and biochemical level. Whilst this indicates that climatic effects on water temperature are not a significant issue with regard to the long-term risk assessment of estrogenic chemicals, the relevance of short-term effects is, as yet, unclear. Furthermore, analysis of the patterns of VTG gene expression versus protein induction gives an insight into the physiological mechanisms responsible for temperature-dependent effects on the reproductive phenology of species such as roach. Hence, the data contribute to our understanding of the implications of global climate change for wild fish populations.
Description: The official published version can be obtained from the link below - Copyright @ 2008 Elsevier BV.
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Environment
Institute for the Environment

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