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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Endocrine Disrupters on the Expression of Growth Hormone and Prolactin Mrna in the Rainbow Trout Pituitary

Submitted to: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2005
Publication Date: January 15, 2006
Citation: Elango, A., Shepherd, B.S., Chen, T.T. 2006. Effects of endocrine disrupters on the expression of growth hormone and prolactin mrna in the rainbow trout pituitary. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 145(2):116-127.

Interpretive Summary: Water sources, including those used in aquaculture, can have pollutants from agriculture, industrial and municipal sources that alter, or mimic, the effects the sex steroid hormone, estrogen. Such pollutants are termed "Endocrine Disrupters (EDs)". Another source of estrogen-like EDs are plant sources, such as soybean sterols (e.g., genestein), that are increasingly being used to manufacture aquaculture diets. Exposure to EDs can result in behavioral, metabolic and reproductive problems, but the mechanisms by which EDs exert these effects are poorly understood. We have conducted studies in the rainbow trout that show that two persistent organic compounds, DDT and Dioxin, stimulate pituitary growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL) gene expression via differing mechanisms. Because these two pituitary hormones control important physiological processes (production traits), such as reproduction, growth and salt and water balance, it is conceivable that ED exposure can have negative impacts on production traits in important aquaculture finfish species. An understanding of the mechanisms by which EDs alter vertebrate endocrinology can provide predictive capabilities to determine, for example, whether the use of particular plant-based protein sources, in aquaculture diets, will have adverse affects on production traits.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 4/22/2015