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Vitellogenin-induced pathology in male summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus).

Aquatic Toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

toxicity, Animals, Estradiol, Flounder, physiology, Immunohistochemistry, Kidney, pathology, Liver, Male, Testis, Vitellogenins

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      Male summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) were given two injections (initially and 2 weeks later) of 17beta-estradiol (E2) totaling 0.2 (2 x 0.1), 2.0 (2 x 1.0) or 20.0 (2 x 10.0) mg E2/kg body weight. Blood and tissue samples were collected 4, 6 and 8 weeks after the initial injection in the (2 x 0.1) mg/kg treatment, 4, 6, 8, and 15 weeks after the first injection in the (2 x 1.0) mg/kg treatment and at 4 weeks only in the (2 x 10.0) mg/kg treatment. Five of the 12 fish injected twice with 10.0 mg/kg were moribund before the first sampling period. Circulating levels of vitellogenin (VTG) in the blood of all E2-injected fish from all treatments were comparable with those concentrations found in the blood of wild male carp (Cyprinus carpio) and walleye (Stezostedion vitreum) previously collected near a sewage treatment plant (0.1-10.0 mg VTG/ml plasma). Excessive hyalin material accumulated in the livers, kidneys and testes of the treated fish. A portion of that material was identified as VTG by immunohistochemistry. The accumulation of VTG, and possibly other estrogen-inducible proteins, resulted in hepatocyte hypertrophy, disruption of spermatogenesis, and obstruction or rupture of renal glomeruli.

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