Estrogens and estrogen mimics are commonly found in surface waters and are associated with deleterious effects in fish populations. Impaired fertility and fecundity in fish following chronic exposures to estrogens and estrogen mimics during critical windows in development are well documented. However, information regarding differential reproductive effects of exposure within defined developmental stages remains sparse. In this study, reproductive capacity was assessed in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) after exposure to two concentrations of 17 beta-estradiol (E2 beta; 2 ng/L and 50 ng/L) during four distinct stages of development: gonad development, gonad differentiation, development of secondary sex characteristics (SSC) and gametogenesis. Exposure to E2 beta did not adversely impact survival, hatch success, growth, or genotypic ratios. In contrast, exposure to 50 ng/L E2 beta during SSC development altered phenotypic ratios and SSC. Exposure to both E2 beta treatments reduced reproductive capacity (fertility, fecundity) by 7.3-57.4% in adult medaka breeding pairs, with hindrance of SSC development resulting in the largest disruption in breeding capacity (51.6-57.4% decrease) in the high concentration. This study documents differential effects among four critical stages of development and provides insight into factors (window of exposure, exposure concentration and duration of exposure period) contributing to reproductive disruption in fish.
Windows of susceptibility and consequences of early life exposures to 17 beta-estradiol on medaka (Oryzias latipes) reproductive success
Lee Pow Jackson, C., Tilahun, K., Creech, K., Mac Law, J., Cope, W. G., Kwak, T. J., Rice, J. K., Aday, D. D., & Kullman, S. W. (2017). Windows of susceptibility and consequences of early life exposures to 17 beta-estradiol on medaka (Oryzias latipes) reproductive success. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(9), 5296-5305. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b01568