Channel Catfish Estrogenicity and Sewer Overflows; Implications for Xenoestrogen Exposure
Effluent from wastewater-treatment plants contains compounds that possess estrogenic activity. The southwestern Pennsylvania area has over 400 sewer overflows (SOs) that release untreated sewage. We sought to determine if the estrogenicity index (EI) of channel catfish from dense areas of SOs differed from catfish that are less impacted by SOs, using MCF-7 and BT-20 cell cultures. The MCF-7 human breast cancer line is estrogen receptor (ER) positive, while the BT-20 line is ER negative. The EI is based on the ratio of MCF-7 proliferation from application of fish extract to the response achieved from physiological levels of estradiol. Catfish caught near dense concentrations of SOs had significantly higher MCF-7 EIs than catfish from areas of less dense SOs, (p=0.02). The ER negative BT-20 cell line exhibited no proliferative response. We hypothesize that fish caught in concentrated areas of SOs have bioaccumulated more xenoestrogens than fish caught in less SO impacted areas. River water from SO contaminated areas is the primary source of drinking water for Allegheny County residents, potentially exposing large population groups to xenoestrogens. Our data suggest that evaluation of the estrogenicity of fish should be incorporated into risk assessment paradigms. Estrogen-screen evaluation of channel catfish is proposed as one model for further development.
KeywordsChannel Catfish Combine Sewer Overflow Allegheny County Environmental Public Health Fish Extract
The authors express their appreciation to the DSF Charitable Trust, the Heinz Endowments and Highmark Foundation, and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) for funding this research through the Center for Environmental Oncology of UPCI. CDV and DD are also funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program through a grant to the University of Pittsburgh, Academic Center of Excellence in EPHT. Many thanks go to Joanna Burger, PhD and Michael Gochfeld, MD, PhD for impressing upon CDV the importance of ecological receptors as biomonitors in exposure assessment studies.
- Aerni, H. R., Kobler, B., Rutishauser, B. V., Wettstein, F. E., Fischer, R., Giger, W., Hungerbuhler, A., Marazuela, M. D., Peter, A., Schonenberger, R., Vogeli, A. C., Suter, M. J. F., Eggen, R. I. L., 2004. Combined biological and chemical assessment of estrogenic activities in wastewater treatment plant effluents. (Special issue: endocrine disruptors). Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 378: 3, 688–696.Google Scholar
- Burger, J., Gochfeld M., Burke, S., Jeitner, C., Jewett, S., Snigaroff, D., Snigaroff, R., Stamm, T., Harper, S., Hoberg, M., Chenelot, H., Patrick, R., Volz, C. D., Weston, J., 2006. “Do scientists and fishermen collect the same size fish? Possible implications for exposure assessment." Environmental Research 101(1): 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Braga, O., Smythe, G. A. et al., 2005. Steroid estrogens in primary and tertiary wastewater treatment plants. Water Science & Technology 52(8): 273–278.Google Scholar
- Carballa, M., Omil, F. et al., 2005. Behaviour of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in a sewage treatment plant of northwest Spain. Water Science and Technology. IWA Publishing, London, UK. 52: 8, 29–35.Google Scholar
- Carballa, M., Omil, F. et al., 2004. Behavior of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and hormones in a sewage treatment plant. Water Research (Oxford). Elsevier, Oxford, UK. 38: 12, 2918–2926.Google Scholar
- EPA, 2001. Removal of endocrine disruptor chemicals using drinking water treatment processes. Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development.Google Scholar
- Hemond, H., Fechner-Levy, E., 2000. Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Jobling, S., Williams, R. et al., 2006. Predicted exposures to steroid estrogens in U.K. rivers correlate with widespread sexual disruption in wild fish populations. Environmental Health Perspectives 114 Suppl. 1: 32–39.Google Scholar
- Liney, K. E., Hagger, J. A. et al., 2006. Health effects in fish of long-term exposure to effluents from wastewater treatment works. Environmental Health Perspectives 114 Suppl 1: 81–9.Google Scholar
- National Research Council, 2005. Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Petrovic, M., Sole, M., Lopez, de Alda, M., Barcelo, D., 2002. Endocrine disruptors in sewage treatment plants, receiving river waters, and sediments: integration of chemical analysis and biological effects on feral carp. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21(10): 2146–2156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Soto A. M., Lin, T.-M., Justicia, H., Silvia, R. M., Sonnenschein, C., 1992. An ‘‘in culture’’ bioassay to assess the estrogenicity of xenobiotics (E-screen). In: Colborn T, Clement C (eds.) Chemically-induced alterations in sexual and functional development: the wildlife/human connection. Princeton Scientific Publishing Co, NJ, pp. 295–309.Google Scholar
- Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, accessed September 4, 2007 http://www.spcregion.org/pdf/datalib/units.xls: original United States Census 2000 Summary File 1 Supplement released June 2003; data are municipal summation of census block data.
- Toppari, J., Larsen, J. C., Christiansen, P., Giwercman, A., Grandjean, P., Guillette, L. J. Jr, Jégou, B., Jensen, T. K., Jouannet, P., Keiding, N., Leffers, H., McLachlan, J. A., Meyer, O., Müller, J., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Scheike, T., Sharpe, R., Sumpter, J., Skakkebaek, N. E., 1996. Environmental Health Perspectives 104 Suppl 4: 741–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Three Rivers Wet Weather, 2002. THE REGIONALIZATION REPORT: An initial study on options for regionalizing the management of sewage collection within the ALCOSAN service area. 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program, 3901 Penn Avenue, Building #3, Pittsburgh, PA 15224. http://www.3riverswetweather.org/f_resources/regionalization_report.pdf accessed 8/26/07.
- United States Department of Justice, 2007, Consent Decree between United States of America, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection, and Allegheny County Health Department vs. Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, Appendices A&B http://www.alcosan.com/Consent%20Decree/Alcosan%20-%20Consent%20Decree%20for%20Signatures.pdf, accessed August 15, 2007.
- Van Waeleghem, K., 1996. Deterioration of sperm quality in healthy Belgium men. Human Reproduction 11: 325–329.Google Scholar
- West View Water Authority, 2007. http://www.westviewwater.org accessed 8/30/07.