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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Endocrine disruption in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) exposed to leachate from a public refuse dump

Noaksson E, Linderoth M, Bosveld ATC, Norrgren L, Zebuhr Y, Balk L


Lake Molnbyggen was previously found to harbour a large number of sexually immature female perch (Perca fluviatilis) suffering from endocrine disruption. In an attempt to pin-point the source of the endocrine-disrupting substance(s) (EDSs), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) from Vadbacken, a stream contaminated by leachate from a public refuse dump and which empties into Lake Molnbyggen, were investigated. In addition, female perch from Lakes Yxen and Kvarntjarn, located up-stream and down-stream of Lake Molnbyggen, were investigated. Only 16.7% of the adult female brook trout in Vadbacken were sexually mature, associated with decreased gonadosomatic index, lower brain aromatase activity, and lower circulating levels of testosterone and 17beta-oestradiol, in comparison to female brook trout from the reference stream Bjorntjarnsbacken. Male brook trout showed decreased gonadosomatic index, in addition to bile duct hyperplasia in the liver, which was also found in female brook trout livers from Vadbacken. In Lake Molnbyggen, 57.6% of the female perch were found to be sexually immature with high frequencies of skin :lesions, such as sores and fin erosion, significantly decreased gonadosomatic index, lower aromatase activity, and lower levels of testosterone and 17beta-oestradiol. No signs of reproductive disorders or endocrine disruption were seen in female perch from Lakes Yxen and Kvarntjarn compared to female perch from the reference lake, Lake Djursjon., Since brook trout of both sexes from Vadbacken displayed the same kind of serious adverse impairment of gonad development and endocrine disruption as-perch from Lake Molnbyggen, very strong evidence are provided that the refuse dump is the source for the responsible EDS(s), since both Vadbacken and Lake Molnbyggen are known to be contaminated by leachate from that dump. The low levels of PAHs and PCBs in the surface sediments of Lake Molnbyggen suggest that these pollutants are:not the responsible EDS(s). (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved


Public refuse dump; Reproductive disorder; Endocrine disruption; Field study; Perch (Perca fluviatilis); Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis); Aromatase (P450 arom); Testosterone (T); 17 alfa-oestradiol (E2)

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2003, Volume: 305, number: 1-3, pages: 87-103