Effects of waterborne exposure to 4-nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylate on secondary sex characteristics and gonads of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)

S. R. Miles-Richardson, S. L. Pierens, K. M. Nichols, V. J. Kramer, E. M. Snyder, S. A. Snyder, J. A. Render, S. D. Fitzgerald, J. P. Giesy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fathead minnows were exposed to 4-nonylphenol (NP) or nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPEO) to determine the effects of these weak estrogen agonists on secondary sex characteristics and gonads of sexually mature males and females during 42-day continuous-flow exposures. Neither NP nor NPEO caused statistically significant effects on tubercles or fat-pad size at the concentrations tested. Exposure to 1.1 or 3.4 μg NP/L caused changes in the number and size of Sertoli cells and germ cell syncytia. Necrotic aggregates of various stages of germ cells in the spermatogenic sequence were observed in the testes of males exposed to NP. Electron microscopy of the testes of NP-exposed males revealed the presence of phagocytic cells in the lumina of seminiferous tubules. The cytoplasm of some Sertoli cells was distended with myelin figures and necrotic spermatozoa. No significant effects on the stages of follicular development were observed in females exposed to NP. There were no differences in the gonads or secondary sex characteristics of males or females exposed to 5.5 μg NPEO/L, the greatest concentration studied. The histologic responses observed are sensitive indicators of waterborne exposure to NP at environmentally relevant concentrations, but not as sensitive as induction of plasma vitellogenin. The secondary sex characteristics were not affected by concentrations of NP or NPEO as great as 3.4 or 5.5 μg/L, respectively. Histologic responses occurred at concentrations that were less than the final chronic value based on survival and approximately the same as those required to cause effects on egg production. The histologic effects caused by NP were similar to, but not exactly the same as those caused by exposure of fathead minnows to 17 β-estradiol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S122-S137
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume80
Issue number2 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fish
  • Follicles
  • Ovary
  • Sertoli cells
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of waterborne exposure to 4-nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylate on secondary sex characteristics and gonads of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Miles-Richardson, S. R., Pierens, S. L., Nichols, K. M., Kramer, V. J., Snyder, E. M., Snyder, S. A., Render, J. A., Fitzgerald, S. D., & Giesy, J. P. (1999). Effects of waterborne exposure to 4-nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylate on secondary sex characteristics and gonads of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Environmental Research, 80(2 II), S122-S137. https://doi.org/10.1006/enrs.1998.3945