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Open Access Effect of Estrogenic Activity, and Phytoestrogen and Organochlorine Pesticide Contents in an Experimental Fish Diet on Reproduction and Hepatic Vitellogenin Production in Medaka (Oryzias latipes)

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Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are giving rise to serious concerns for humans and wildlife. Phytoestrogens, such as daidzein and genistein in plants, and organochlorine pesticides are suspected EDCs, because their chemical structure is similar to that of natural or synthetic estrogens and they have estrogenic activity in vitro and in vivo. We assessed estrogenic activity and dietary phytoestrogen and organochlorine pesticide contents of various fish diets made in the United Kingdom, and compared them with those features of diets made in Japan that were tested in a previous study. Genistein and daidzein were detected in all of the diets. Using an in vitro bioassay, many of these diets had higher activation of estrogen -receptors than estrogen α-receptors. Organochlorine pesticides such as hexachlorobenzene, -benzene hexachloride (BHC), and -BHC were detected in all fish diets. On the basis of these data, we investigated the effect of differing dietary phytoestrogen content in Japanese fish diets on hepatic vitellogenin production and reproduction (fecundity and fertility) in medaka (Oryzias latipes). Assessment of the effects of a 28day feeding period on reproduction of paired medaka did not indicate significant differences in the number of eggs produced and fertility among all feeding groups. However, hepatic vitellogenin values were significantly higher for male medaka fed diet C (genistein, 58.5 ± 0.6 g/g; daidzein, 37.3 ± 0.2 g/g) for 28 days compared with those fed diet A (genistein, < 0.8 g/g; daidzein, < 0.8 g/g) or diet B (genistein, 1.4 ± 0.1 g/g; daidzein, 2.0 ± 0.1 g/g). Our findings indicate that fish diets containing high amounts of phytoestrogens, such as diet C, have the potential to induce hepatic vitellogenin production in male medaka, even if reproductive parameters are unaffected. Therefore, some diets, by affecting vitellogenin production in males, may alter estrogenic activity of in vivo tests designed to determine activity of test compounds added to the diet.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, 3-1-100 Tsukide, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan 2: Kitakyushu City Institute of Environmental Sciences, 1-2-1 Shin-ike, Tobata, Kitakyushu 804-0082, Japan 3: AstraZeneca Global Safety, Health and Environment, Brixham Environmental Laboratory, Freshwater Quarry, Brixham, Devon TQ5 8BA, UK 4: Okazaki National Research Institutes Center for Integrative Bioscience Bioenvironmental Science, 38 Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan

Publication date: 01 December 2004

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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