Migrating white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontamus) may be subject to agricultural, municipal, and industrial wastewater effluents that likely contain different classes of endocrine-disrupting contaminants. Concern is mounting about the negative effects of environmental estrogens on fish reproduction; however, in environmental mixtures, the affects from estrogenic compounds may be suppressed by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands. Indeed, reductions in 17β-estradiol-induced (0.01 and 1 mg/kg) vitellogenin (VTG) levels were observed in white sturgeon coinjected with β-naphthoflavone (BNF; 50 mg/kg), a model for contaminants that activate the AhR. Variation in the time of injection was used to attempt to correlate VTG inhibition to ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity. No evidence was found to suggest that the inhibition of VTG is a direct result of enhanced estrogen metabolism by BNF-induced enzymes. Results of the present study are relevant for monitoring programs that measure VTG, because these results show that AhR-active environmental contaminants can repress VTG synthesis, which commonly is used as an indicator of estrogen-mimicking contaminants. Furthermore, suppression of natural estrogen signaling by AhR agonists may have significant effects on fish reproduction.
- Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
- Endocrine disruption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Environmental Chemistry