Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Effect-directed analysis for estrogenic compounds in a fluvial sediment sample using transgenic cyp19a1b-GFP zebrafish embryos.

PMID 24927039


Xenoestrogens may persist in the environment by binding to sediments or suspended particulate matter serving as long-term reservoir and source of exposure, particularly for organisms living in or in contact with sediments. In this study, we present for the first time an effect-directed analysis (EDA) for identifying estrogenic compounds in a sediment sample using embryos of a transgenic reporter fish strain. In the tg(cyp19a1b-GFP) transgenic zebrafish strain, the expression of GFP (green fluorescent protein) in the brain is driven by an oestrogen responsive element in the promoter of the cyp19a1b (aromatase) gene. The selected sediment sample of the Czech river Bilina had already been analysed in a previous EDA using the yeast oestrogen screening assay and had revealed fractions containing estrogenic compounds. When normal phase HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) fractionation was used for the separation of the sediment sample, the biotest with transgenic fish embryos revealed two estrogenic fractions. Chemical analysis of candidate compounds in these sediment fractions suggested alkylphenols and estrone as candidate compounds responsible for the observed estrogenic effect. Alkylphenol concentrations could partially explain the estrogenicity of the fractions. However, xenoestrogens below the analytical detection limit or non-targeted estrogenic compounds have probably also contributed to the sample's estrogenic potency. The results indicated the suitability of the tg(cyp19a1b-GFP) fish embryo for an integrated chemical-biological analysis of estrogenic effects.