Measurement of vitellogenin, a biomarker for exposure to oestrogenic chemicals, in a wide variety of cyprinid fish

C. R. Tyler*, B. Van Der Eerden, S. Jobling, G. Panter, J. P. Sumpter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

196 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is increasing concern about man-made chemicals in the aquatic environment that mimic oestrogens because they may disrupt reproductive function. Vitellogenin, a precursor of egg-yolk in fish and other oviparous animals, may be used as a biomarker for 'oestrogen' exposure. This study investigated the use of a radioimmunoassay developed to carp (Cyprinus carpio) vitellogenin to measure vitellogenin in other species of fish, especially cyprinids that would be of value for field and laboratory studies on oestrogenic xenobiotics. Of the nine families of fish studied, only vitellogenin from cyprinids (to which the carp belongs) showed good cross- reactivity in the carp vitellogenin radioimmunoassay. Vitellogenin from cyprinids native to Europe that cross reacted in the carp vitellogenin radioimmunoassay included: bream (Abramis brama), roach (Rutilus rutilus), rudd (Scardinius erythropthalmus), gudgeon (Gobio gobio) and minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus). Vitellogenin from cyprinids used widely in ecotoxicology that cross reacted in the carp vitellogenin radioimmunoassay included: fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) and goldfish (Carassias auratus). In the cyprinids studied, the concentrations of vitellogenin in mature females were between a few hundred and a thousand microgram per millilitre. Concentrations of plasma vitellogenin in immature females were always greater than 200 ng · m-1, whereas in males (with the exception of the fathead minnow) plasma vitellogenin concentrations were less than 20 ng · ml-1 (and generally, much lower). The results suggest that the structure of vitellogenin is highly conserved within the cyprinid family and that the carp vitellogenin radioimmunoassay may be used to measure the concentrations of vitellogenin in plasma from a wide variety of cyprinids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-426
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - B Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Volume166
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright: Springer-Verlag 1996

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