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      Endocrine-disruptor molecular responses, occurrence of intersex and gonado-histopathological changes in tilapia species from a tropical freshwater dam (Awba Dam) in Ibadan, Nigeria

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          In the present study, the occurrence of endocrine disruptive responses in Tilapia species from Awba Dam has been investigated, and compared to a reference site (Modete Dam). The Awba Dam is a recipient of effluents from University of Ibadan (Nigeria) and several other anthropogenic sources. A total of 132 Tilapia species (Sarotherodon malenotheron (n=57 and 32, males and females, respectively) and Tilapia guineensis (n=23 and 20, males and females, respectively)) were collected from June to September 2014. At the reference site, samples of adult male and female S. melanotheron (48 males and 47 females) and T. guineensis (84 males and 27 females) were collected. Gonads were morphologically and histologically examined and gonadosomatic index (GSI) was calculated. Hepatic mRNA transcriptions of vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata protein (Zrp) genes were analyzed using validated RT-qPCR. Significant increase in Vtg and Zrp transcripts were observed in male tilapias from Awba Dam, compared to males from the reference site. In addition, male tilapias from Awba Dam produced significantly higher Vtg and Zrp mRNA, compared to females in June and July. However, at the natural peak spawning period in August and September, females produced, significantly higher Vtg and Zrp mRNA, compared to males. Fish gonads revealed varying incidence of intersex with a striking presence of two (2) pairs of testes and a pair of ovary in S. melanotheron from Awba Dam. The entire fish population examined at Awba Dam showed a high prevalence of intersex (34.8%), involving phenotypic males and females of both species. Analysis of sediment contaminant levels revealed that As, Cd, Pb, Hg and Ni (heavy metals), monobutyltin cation, 4-iso-nonyphenol and PCB congeners (138, 153 and 180) were significantly higher in Awba Dam, compared to the reference site. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that fish variables were positively correlated with sediment contaminant burden at Awba Dam, indicating that the observed endocrine disruptive responses are associated with contaminant concentrations. Overall, the occurrence of intersex and elevated expressions of Vtg and Zrp in male fish, suggest that the measured contaminants were eliciting severe endocrine disruptive effects in Awba Dam biota, which is an important source of domestic water supply and fisheries for the University of Ibadan community.

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          Author and article information

          Aquatic Toxicology
          Aquatic Toxicology
          Elsevier BV
          May 2016
          May 2016
          : 174
          : 10-21
          © 2016


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