In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (5)

Articles by Alice Baynes in JoVE

Other articles by Alice Baynes on PubMed

17β-Oestradiol May Prolong Reproduction in Seasonally Breeding Freshwater Gastropod Molluscs

Aquatic Toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21216342

Whilst the effects of oestrogenic contaminants in the aquatic environment are well documented in fish, effects in invertebrate species has been subject to debate, possibly due to differences in experimental conditions (temperature, timing and duration of exposure) between studies. It has been suggested that molluscs are only susceptible to oestrogens in periods either following the main spawning or leading up to the maturation of gametes. To investigate this possibility, two temperate, seasonally reproducing gastropods (Planorbarius corneus and Viviparus viviparus) were exposed to two concentrations of 17β-oestradiol (E2; 10ng/l and 100ng/l nominal) in an outdoor mesocosm (subject to natural seasons). In addition, P. corneus was also exposed to E2 (1, 10 and 100ng/l) in the laboratory at temperatures and photoperiods to simulate summer and autumn. In the mesocosm, both snail species produced similar numbers of eggs/embryos as reference groups in the summer, but the groups exposed to 10ngE2/l (nominal) had significantly higher productivities after the onset of autumn, when entering their quiescent phase, whilst the snails exposed to a higher concentration (100ng/l, nominal) had an increased rate of mortality, and did not experience increased reproduction. In the laboratory, the rate of egg laying in P. corneus was unaffected in simulated summer (20°C, 16h photoperiod), but snails exposed to 10 and 100ng/l (nominal) in simulated autumn (15°C, 12h photoperiod) showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of the natural decline in egg laying observed in the control snails. Overall, rather than an increase in reproductive rate, the response of this species was a perpetuation of summer reproductive rates into autumn. We conclude that exposure to E2 can affect reproduction in the freshwater gastropods studied, but in P. corneus at least, this is dependent on the seasonal conditions (temperature and photoperiod) at which exposures are made.

Additional Treatment of Wastewater Reduces Endocrine Disruption in Wild Fish--a Comparative Study of Tertiary and Advanced Treatments

Environmental Science & Technology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22500691

Steroid estrogens are thought to be the major cause of feminization (intersex) in wild fish. Widely used wastewater treatment technologies are not effective at removing these contaminants to concentrations thought to be required to protect aquatic wildlife. A number of advanced treatment processes have been proposed to reduce the concentrations of estrogens entering the environment. Before investment is made in such processes, it is imperative that we compare their efficacy in terms of removal of steroid estrogens and their feminizing effects with other treatment options. This study assessed both steroid removal and intersex induction in adult and early life stage fish (roach, Rutilus rutilus). Roach were exposed directly to either secondary (activated sludge process (ASP)), tertiary (sand filtrated (SF)), or advanced (chlorine dioxide (ClO(2)), granular activated charcoal (GAC)) treated effluents for six months. Surprisingly, both the advanced GAC and tertiary SF treatments (but not the ClO(2) treatment) significantly removed the intersex induction associated with the ASP effluent; this was not predicted by the steroid estrogen measurements, which were higher in the tertiary SF than either the GAC or the ClO(2). Therefore our study highlights the importance of using both biological and chemical analysis when assessing new treatment technologies.

Body Size, Nuptial Pad Size and Hormone Levels: Potential Non-destructive Biomarkers of Reproductive Health in Wild Toads (Bufo Bufo)

Ecotoxicology (London, England). Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24935780

Amphibians are declining and fertility/fecundity are major drivers of population stability. The development of non-destructive methods to assess reproductive health are needed as destructive measures are fundamentally at odds with conservation goals for declining species. We investigated the utility of body size, nuptial pad size and forelimb width as non-destructive biomarkers of internal reproductive physiology, by analysing correlations with commonly used destructive methods in adult male toads (Bufo bufo) from a low human impact and a high human impact site. Principal component analyses revealed that size was the most important variable for explaining inter-individual differences in other measured endpoints, both non-destructive and destructive, except for hormone levels and nuptial pad, which were independent of size. Toads from the LI and the HI site differed in almost all of the measured endpoints; this was largely driven by the significantly smaller size of toads from the HI site. Correlational analyses within sites revealed that size was correlated with several reproductive endpoints in toads from the HI site but not the LI site, indicating a possible limiting effect of size on reproductive physiology. Intersex was observed in 33% of toads from the HI site and incidence was not related to any other measured endpoint. In conclusion, we provide evidence that size is associated with reproductive physiology and that nuptial pad/hormone levels have potential as additional markers due to their independence from size. We also show that human activities can have a negative effect on reproductive physiology of the common toad.

Removal of Ecotoxicity of 17α-ethinylestradiol Using TAML/peroxide Water Treatment

Scientific Reports. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26068117

17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), a synthetic oestrogen in oral contraceptives, is one of many pharmaceuticals found in inland waterways worldwide as a result of human consumption and excretion into wastewater treatment systems. At low parts per trillion (ppt), EE2 induces feminisation of male fish, diminishing reproductive success and causing fish population collapse. Intended water quality standards for EE2 set a much needed global precedent. Ozone and activated carbon provide effective wastewater treatments, but their energy intensities and capital/operating costs are formidable barriers to adoption. Here we describe the technical and environmental performance of a fast- developing contender for mitigation of EE2 contamination of wastewater based upon small- molecule, full-functional peroxidase enzyme replicas called "TAML activators". From neutral to basic pH, TAML activators with H2O2 efficiently degrade EE2 in pure lab water, municipal effluents and EE2-spiked synthetic urine. TAML/H2O2 treatment curtails estrogenicity in vitro and substantially diminishes fish feminization in vivo. Our results provide a starting point for a future process in which tens of thousands of tonnes of wastewater could be treated per kilogram of catalyst. We suggest TAML/H2O2 is a worthy candidate for exploration as an environmentally compatible, versatile, method for removing EE2 and other pharmaceuticals from municipal wastewaters.

Steroid Androgen Exposure During Development Has No Effect on Reproductive Physiology of Biomphalaria Glabrata

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27448327

Gastropod mollusks have been proposed as alternative models for male reproductive toxicity testing, due to similarities in their reproductive anatomy compared to mammals, together with evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause effects in some mollusks analogous to those seen in mammals. To test this hypothesis, we used the freshwater pulmonate snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, for which various genetic tools and a draft genome have recently become available, to investigate the effects of two steroid androgens on the development of mollusk secondary sexual organs. Here we present the results of exposures to two potent androgens, the vertebrate steroid; 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the pharmaceutical anabolic steroid; 17α-methyltestosterone (MT), under continuous flow-through conditions throughout embryonic development and up to sexual maturity. Secondary sexual gland morphology, histopathology and differential gene expression analysis were used to determine whether steroid androgens stimulated or inhibited organ development. No significant differences between tissues from control and exposed snails were identified, suggesting that these androgens elicited no biologically detectable response normally associated with exposure to androgens in vertebrate model systems. Identifying no effect of androgens in this mollusk is significant, not only in the context of the suitability of mollusks as alternative model organisms for testing vertebrate androgen receptor agonists but also, if applicable to other similar mollusks, in terms of the likely impacts of androgens and anti-androgenic pollutants present in the aquatic environment.

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