EPA Science Inventory

Effects of Two Progestins, Norethindrone and Levonorgestrel, On Reproduction in a Marine Fish, Tautogolabrus adspersus.

Citation:

Borsay Horowitz, Doranne, G. Zaroogian, B. Rashleigh, B. Riffle, S. Laws, AND L. Mills. Effects of Two Progestins, Norethindrone and Levonorgestrel, On Reproduction in a Marine Fish, Tautogolabrus adspersus. Presented at Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 34th Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, November 17 - 21, 2013.

Description:

Endocrine-active pharmaceuticals that enter the aquatic environment through sewage effluent may have unintended impacts on reproduction in fish, which in turn may affect the sustainability of exposed populations. Laboratory experiments were conducted with the marine fish cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) to evaluate whether norethindrone (NOR) and levonorgestrel (LNG) affected reproduction in spawning adults. Both progestins are used in human contraceptive formulations and have been detected in low (ng/L) concentrations in aquatic environments. Synthetic progestins in aquatic environments are of special concern because some fish use natural progesterones as pheromones to coordinate reproduction, and evidence suggests progestins may be selectively taken up through the gills in some species. Reproductive endpoints of egg production, viability and fertility were assessed daily in spawning cunner treated with NOR or LNG (nominal concentrations of 0, 0.075 or 0.75 mg/kg) by oral gavage on days 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16 of the experiment. All fish were sacrificed on day 17 and gonadosomatic index (GSI) was determined. In NOR-treated fish, egg production per gram female was significantly reduced relative to controls at both concentrations, while egg fertility and viability was notably decreased, although not significantly, only in the 0.75 mg/kg treatment. GSI was significantly reduced in both males and females from the 0.75 mg/kg treatment. Female mortality in this treatment group was more than twice that in controls, indicating an increase in male aggression. In LNG-treated cunner, no significant effect was seen on egg production, fertility, viability, or GSI compared to control fish. Results indicate some progestins can impact fish reproduction, even in short-term exposures. Research is planned to determine if these fish selectively take up progestins from the aquatic environment. This abstract does not reflect U.S. EPA policy.

Purpose/Objective:

Progestins are used in human contraceptive formulations, as well as other medical treatments, and have been detected in low (ng/L) concentrations in aquatic environments. The purpose of this research is to determine the potential for these endocrine-active pharmaceuticals to adversely impaact reproduction in a non-target species, e.g., fish.

URLs/Downloads:

DBH_SETAC2013_POSTER.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 132.758 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Completion Date: 01/23/2014
Record Last Revised: 01/23/2014
Record Created: 01/23/2014
Record Released: 01/23/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 267271

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

POPULATION ECOLOGY BRANCH