An Emerging Water Contaminant, Semicarbazide, Exerts an Anti-estrogenic Effect in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

  • Su Gao
  • Wei WangEmail author
  • Hua Tian
  • Xiaona Zhang
  • Linlin Guo
  • Shaoguo Ru


To determine the endocrine disrupting effect of semicarbazide, an emerging water contaminant, the changes in transcript levels of hepatic estrogen-response genes including vitellogenin-1 (vtg-1), estrogen receptor α (ERα), and estrogen receptor β (ERβ) were measured in male and female zebrafish exposed to semicarbazide with or without exogenous 17β-estradiol (E2). Exposure of male zebrafish to semicarbazide for 96 h or 28 days resulted in no significant induction in hepatic vtg-1, ERα, or ERβ mRNA expression, indicating that semicarbazide has no estrogenic effect. However, a remarkable anti-estrogenic effect of semicarbazide was demonstrated: semicarbazide treatment of female zebrafish for 96 h and 28 days resulted in significant decreases in transcript levels of vtg-1, ERα, and ERβ, as well as decreases in the gonadosomatic index level after 28 days. Moreover, semicarbazide exposure significantly inhibited the induction of vtg-1, ERα and ERβ mRNA by E2 when male zebrafish were co-exposed for 28 days.


Anti-estrogenic effect Estrogen receptors Semicarbazide Vitellogenin Zebrafish 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [31170322].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Su Gao
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hua Tian
    • 1
  • Xiaona Zhang
    • 1
  • Linlin Guo
    • 1
  • Shaoguo Ru
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Life Science CollegeOcean University of ChinaQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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