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Are endocrine and reproductive biomarkers altered in contaminant-exposed wild male Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) of Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona, USA?

February 27, 2015

Male Largemouth Bass were sampled from two locations in Lake Mead (USA), a site influenced by treated municipal wastewater effluent and urban runoff (Las Vegas Bay), and a reference site (Overton Arm). Samples were collected in summer (July '07) and spring (March '08) to assess general health, endocrine and reproductive biomarkers, and compare contaminant body burdens by analyzing 252 organic chemicals. Sperm count and motility were measured in spring. Contaminants were detected at much higher frequencies and concentrations in fish from Las Vegas Bay than Overton Arm. Those with the highest concentrations included PCBs, DDTs, PBDEs, galaxolide, and methyl triclosan. Fish from Las Vegas Bay also had higher Fulton condition factor, hepatosomatic index, and hematocrit, and lower plasma 11-ketotestosterone concentration (KT). Gonadosomatic index (GSI) and sperm motility did not differ between sites, but sperm count was lower by nearly 50% in fish from Las Vegas Bay. A positive association between KT and GSI was identified, but this association was nonlinear. On average, maximal GSI was reached at sub-maximal KT concentrations. In conclusion, the higher concentration of contaminant body burdens coupled with reduced levels of KT and sperm count in fish from Las Vegas Bay suggest that male reproductive condition was influenced by contaminant exposures. Also, the nonlinear KT-GSI association provided a framework to understand why GSI was similar between male bass from both sites despite their large difference in KT, and also suggested the existence of post-gonadal growth functions of KT at high concentrations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Are endocrine and reproductive biomarkers altered in contaminant-exposed wild male Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) of Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona, USA?
DOI 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.02.015
Authors Steven L. Goodbred, Reynaldo Patiño, Leticia Torres, Kathy R. Echols, Jill A. Jenkins, Michael R. Rosen, Erik Orsak
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title General and Comparative Endocrinology
Index ID 70154855
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta