Altered distribution of lipid-soluble antioxidant vitamins in juvenile sturgeon exposed to waterborne ethynylestradiol
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Studies in mammals have shown that exposure to estrogenic compounds can affect lipid metabolism and plasma concentrations of lipid-soluble vitamins. However, the potential for estrogenic contaminants to induce these effects in fish has not yet been examined. The ability of the estrogen analog ethynylestradiol (EE2) to alter concentrations of the lipid-soluble vitamins A and E in plasma, liver, and kidney was investigated in juvenile lake sturgeon (430 +/- 20 g). The EE2 was delivered to the sturgeon in the tank water at nominal concentrations of 0 (control), 15, 60, or 125 ng EE2/L for a period of 25 d. Concentrations of the egg yolk precursor, vitellogenin, increased dose dependently in plasma. Plasma vitamin E (tocopherol), A1 (retinol), and A2 (dehydroretinol) were elevated by the two highest EE2 treatments compared with the controls. Esterified storage forms of vitamin A were marginally lower in the livers of fish from the highest EE2 dose group, but vitamin E levels in the liver were not significantly affected. Concentrations of vitamin E and vitamin A were significantly depleted in the kidney of fish from the two highest EE2 dose groups. Total lipid content was elevated in the gonad of fish treated with the highest dose of EE2 compared with the controls. Altered lipid and vitamin distribution may be induced by estrogen to facilitate gonadal maturation in sturgeon. Results from these studies indicate that an examination of the implications for vitamin depletion by estrogenic contaminants in juvenile fish is warranted.
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