Evaluation of morphological and behavioral variations induced in adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio) on long-term exposure to environmental estrogenic chemicals (Individually and in combinations)

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Author: 
Basavaraj B. Goundadkar and Katti Pancharatna
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Many chemicals present in the environment have the potential to intervene the endocrine system of the inhabitant organisms causing alterations in their physiology and behavior. In the present study, we made an attempt to compare and evaluate the effects of long-term (75 days) exposure to different environmental estrogenic chemicals (EECs) individually and in combinations on the morphological (body size and mass, pigmentation) and behavioral (feeding activity and sensitivity) aspects of adult zebrafish in the laboratory. Adult (wild) zebrafish (n = 12) procured locally were acclimated to laboratory conditions (temperature: 26 ± 1oC, and photoperiod:11.30 L:12.30 D hrs) for two weeks and exposed semi statically to (i) Ethinyl estradiol-EE2 (3 ng/L) (ii) Diethylstibestrol-DES (3 ng/L) (iii) Atrazine-ATR (3 µg/L) (iv) Bisphenol A-BPA (3µg/L) (v) EE2+ATR (vi) EE2 + BPA (vii) DES + ATR (viii) DES + BPA (ix) EE2 + ATR + BPA (x) DES + ATR + BPA. Fish exposed to Estradiol 17β (3ng/L) served as positive controls and those exposed to conditioned water alone, as negative controls. All the concentrations of EEC used in the experiment were lower than environmentally recorded levels for the respective chemical. Our observations reveal that (i) the rate of mortality was greater in chemical exposed fish especially in those exposed to combination of EEC (ii) fish exposed to combinations of EEC exhibited increased feeding rate and variations in response to external stimuli/sensitivity (iii) in fish exposed to atrazine (individually and in combination with other EEC) pigmentation was greater while it was lesser in those exposed to BPA as compared to controls. Thus, there was a variation in the intensity of effects manifested by a chemical individually and those when exposed in combination with other chemicals. Therefore, effects of EEC on aquatic organisms potentiated in presence of other chemicals which is very relevant in evaluating the impact of water contaminants EEC on aquatic organisms in natural aquatic system.

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