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A Preliminary Survey of Estrogenic Effects in Cultured Adult Male Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Philippines


This study aimed to investigate the impact of estrogenic endocrine disruptors in adult male Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from the Seven Lakes (Bunot, Calibato, Mohicap, Palakpakin, Pandin, Sampaloc and Yambo) of San Pablo City in Laguna, Philippines. Fish were collected from aquaculture operations in each lake from July to September 2017 and examined for plasma vitellogenin (VTG) levels, hepatosomatic index (HSI) and gonadosomatic index (GSI). In comparison to the reference group (Pandin Lake), fish from Mohicap, Sampaloc and Yambo had higher levels of plasma VTG. HSI was increased in fish from Bunot Lake while it was markedly reduced in fish from Sampaloc Lake. Comparable GSI were obtained in all samples. While most examined fish are in active spermatogenesis, fish from Sampaloc Lake had immature gonads with no spermatozoa, and with minimal to moderate Leydig cell vacuolation and hyperplasia. The results suggest that cultured Nile tilapia from Sampaloc Lake is most adversely affected by endocrine-active compounds. The identification and quantification of these chemicals are recommended in future studies.

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The authors would like to thank the UP Enhanced Creative Work and Research Grant (ECWRG-2016-2-074) for funding this study and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) for the water quality data.

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Correspondence to Michelle Grace V. Paraso.

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Mabansag, C.J.A., Paraso, M.G.V., Marcelino, R.T. et al. A Preliminary Survey of Estrogenic Effects in Cultured Adult Male Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Philippines. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 103, 400–404 (2019).

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  • Endocrine disruption
  • Estrogenic
  • Fish
  • Lake
  • Vitellogenin