DES affects the development of early life stage and targets gene expression

Diethylstilbestrol at environmental levels affects the development of early life stage and target gene expression in Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes)

2016 Study Abstract

In this study, the biologic effects of DES on the early life and adult life stages of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) were evaluated.

At the early life stage, the fertilized eggs were exposed to 1-1000 ng/L diethylstilbestrol (DES) for 15 days and the hatched larvae were continually exposed to the same concentrations for an additional 25 days. Significant adverse effects on hatchability, time to hatching and mortality rate occurred at DES concentrations of 100 and 1000 ng/L, while the abnormality (scoliosis and abdominal swelling) rate was significantly increased at 10 ng/L and above.

After exposure, the fish were maintained in charcoal-dechlorinated tap water for a further 30 days. Only the male gonadosomatic index (GSI) at 1000 ng/L was significantly increased. At concentrations greater than 1 ng/L, estrogen receptor α (ERα) mRNA in both sexes and vitellogenin-I (Vtg-I) mRNA in males were significantly down-regulated; while Vtg-I mRNA in females was significantly up-regulated.

When sexually mature medaka were exposed to 10 and 1000 ng/L DES for 21 days, only the GSI in females was significantly decreased at 1000 ng/L. At 10 and 1000 ng/L, ERα mRNA in both sexes was significantly down-regulated, while Vtg-I mRNA in males was significantly up-regulated.

These findings showed that DES at the environmental concentration of 10 ng/L can affect the early life stage development of medaka and alter liver ERα and Vtg-I gene expression. Therefore, if we only focused on these sensitive toxicity endpoints such as ERα and Vtg-I mRNA expression, DES has a strong estrogenic effect on Japanese medaka.

Sources and more information
  • Diethylstilbestrol at environmental levels affects the development of early life stage and target gene expression in Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes), Ecotoxicology (London, England), NCBI PubMed PMID: 26908245, 2016 Feb 23.
  • Japanese Medaka featured image credit wikipedia.
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