Science Inventory

Histopathologic Effects of Estrogens on Marine Fishes


ZAROOGIAN, G. E., D. B. HOROWITZ, R. E. GUTJAHR-GOBELL, J. W. FOURNIE, AND L. J. MILLS. Histopathologic Effects of Estrogens on Marine Fishes. Presented at Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society 2009 Winter Meeting, Bristol, RI, January 14, 2009.


Endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as estrogens, estradiol, and ethinyl estradiol have been reported to affect fish reproduction. This study histologically compares and evaluates the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in two species of treated fish. Data collected from these studies can be further used to predict risk in broader populations of marine animals.


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as estrogens estradiol (E2) and ethinylestradiol (EE2) have been reported to affect fish reproduction. This study histologically compared and evaluated effects of EDCs in two species of treated fish. Juvenile male summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) were treated in the laboratory with E2, EE2 or ATD through injected slow-release implant systems. Excessive vitellogenin (VtG) accumulated in livers, kidneys, and testes treated with E2 in both species. Accumulations resulted in hepatocyte hypertrophy, disruption of spermatogenesis, and obstruction of renal glomeruli. Inhibition of testicular growth with atrophy and clusters of dead germ cells were prevalent in flounders at highest E2 treatments. Hepatocyte nuclei and nucleoli were enlarged and accumulations of VtG observed in treated fish. Hepatocyte hypertrophy was common in these areas and mortalities occurred in the highest doses. All E2 treated flounders displayed VtG accumulation in testes tissue sections. Some of E2 and EE2 treated male cunner had hemorrhaging testes in addition to VtG accumulation in renal tubules and glomeruli; one with extensive hepatocellular necrosis, hemorrhage, and hemosiderin accumulation. In cunner treated with aromatase inhibitor androstatrienedione, no notable histopathological abnormalities were found. Overall, histopathological changes in liver, testicular, and renal glomeruli tissues appear similar in both species of fish and relate to excessive accumulation of VtG.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 01/14/2009
Record Last Revised: 03/26/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 202304