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Exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol results in differential susceptibility of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) to bacterial infection

October 5, 2022

Disease outbreaks, skin lesions, mortality events, and reproductive abnormalities have been observed in wild populations of centrarchids. The presence of estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds (EEDCs) has been implicated as a potential causal factor for these effects. The effects of prior EEDC exposure on immune response were examined in juvenile largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) exposed to a potent synthetic estrogen (17α-ethinylestradiol, EE2) at a low (EE2Low, 0.87 ng/L) or high (EE2High, 9.08 ng/L) dose for 4 weeks, followed by transfer to clean water and injection with an LD40 dose of the Gram-negative bacteria Edwardsiella piscicida. Unexpectedly, this prior exposure to EE2High significantly increased survivorship at 10 d post-infection compared to solvent control or EE2Low-exposed, infected fish. Both prior exposure and infection with E. piscicida led to significantly reduced hepatic glycogen levels, indicating a stress response resulting in depletion of energy stores. Additionally, pathway analysis for liver and spleen indicated differentially expressed genes associated with immunometabolic processes in the mock-injected EE2High treatment that could underlie the observed protective effect and metabolic shift in EE2High-infected fish. Our results demonstrate that exposure to a model EEDC alters metabolism and immune function in a fish species that is ecologically and economically important in North America.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Exposure to 17α-ethinylestradiol results in differential susceptibility of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) to bacterial infection
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.2c02250
Authors Jessica Kristin Leet, Justin Greer, Catherine A. Richter, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Edward Spinard, Jacquelyn McDonald, Carla M. Conway, Robert W. Gale, Donald E. Tillitt, John Hansen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Science and Technology
Index ID 70237730
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center; Leetown Science Center; Western Fisheries Research Center