The epizootiology and pathogenesis of thyroid hyperplasia in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in Lake Ontario.
The thyroid glands of coho salmon collected at different stages of their anadromous migration exhibited progressive and extensive hyperplasia and hypertrophy. The incidence of overt nodule formation rose from 5% in fish collected in August to 24% in fish collected in October. The histological picture of the goiters was similar to that found in thiourea-treated teleosts and thiouracil-treated mammals. There was a concomitant, significant decrease in serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine values between September and October (thyroxine, 1.0+/-0.3 mug/100 ml and 0.4 mug/100 ml in September and October, respectively; triiodothyronine, 400.3+/-51.6 ng/100 ml and 80.2 ng/100 ml in September and October, respectively) and marked hypertrophy and hyperplasia of thyrotrophs. These data indicate a progressive hypothyroid condition which, although it may be linked to iodide deficiency, may well be enhanced by other environmental factors. The evidence for involvement of other factors is discussed. (+info)
A comparison of the reproductive physiology of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, collected from the Escambia and Blackwater Rivers in Florida.
Largemouth bass (LMB), Micropterus salmoides, were taken from the Escambia River (contaminated site) and the Blackwater River (reference site) near Pensacola, Florida. The Escambia River collection occurred downstream of the effluent from two identified point sources of pollution. These point sources included a coal-fired electric power plant and a chemical company. Conversely, the Blackwater River's headwaters and most of its length flow within a state park. Although there is some development on the lower part of the Blackwater River, fish were collected in the more pristine upper regions. Fish were captured by electroshocking and were maintained in aerated coolers. Physical measurements were obtained, blood was taken, and liver and gonads were removed. LMB plasma was assayed for the concentration of 17ss-estradiol (E2) and testosterone using validated radioimmunoassays. The presence of vitellogenin was determined by gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blotting using a monoclonal antibody validated for largemouth bass vitellogenin. No differences in plasma concentrations of E2 or testosterone were observed in females from the two sites. Similarly, males exhibited no difference in plasma E2. However, plasma testosterone was lower in the males from the contaminated site, as compared to the reference site. Vitellogenic males occurred only at the contaminated site. Additionally, liver mass was proportionately higher in males from the contaminated site, as compared to males from the reference site. These data suggest that reproductive steroid levels may have been altered by increased hepatic enzyme activity, and the presence of vitellogenic males indicates that an exogenous source of estrogen was present in the Escambia River. (+info)
The role of humic substances in drinking water in Kashin-Beck disease in China.
We conducted in vitro and in vivo assays in a selenium-deficient system to determine if organic matter (mainly fulvic acid; FA) is involved in a free radical mechanism of action for Kashin-Beck disease. Cartilage cell culture experiments indicated that the oxy or hydroxy functional groups in FA may interfere with the cell membrane and result in enhancement of lipid peroxidation. Experiments with rats demonstrated that toxicity from FA was reduced when the hydroxy group was blocked. Induction of lipid peroxidation by FA in liver and blood of rats was similar to that exhibited by acetyl phenyl hydrazine. FA accumulated in bone and cartilage, where selenium rarely concentrates. In addition, selenium supplementation in rats' drinking water inhibited the generation of oxy-free radicals in bone. We hypothesized that FA in drinking water is an etiological factor of Kashin-Beck disease and that the mechanism of action involves the oxy and hydroxy groups in FA for the generation of free radicals. Selenium was confirmed to be a preventive factor for Kashin-Beck disease. (+info)
Microbial communities associated with anaerobic benzene degradation in a petroleum-contaminated aquifer.
Microbial community composition associated with benzene oxidation under in situ Fe(III)-reducing conditions in a petroleum-contaminated aquifer located in Bemidji, Minn., was investigated. Community structure associated with benzene degradation was compared to sediment communities that did not anaerobically oxidize benzene which were obtained from two adjacent Fe(III)-reducing sites and from methanogenic and uncontaminated zones. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rDNA sequences amplified with bacterial or Geobacteraceae-specific primers indicated significant differences in the composition of the microbial communities at the different sites. Most notable was a selective enrichment of microorganisms in the Geobacter cluster seen in the benzene-degrading sediments. This finding was in accordance with phospholipid fatty acid analysis and most-probable-number-PCR enumeration, which indicated that members of the family Geobacteraceae were more numerous in these sediments. A benzene-oxidizing Fe(III)-reducing enrichment culture was established from benzene-degrading sediments and contained an organism closely related to the uncultivated Geobacter spp. This genus contains the only known organisms that can oxidize aromatic compounds with the reduction of Fe(III). Sequences closely related to the Fe(III) reducer Geothrix fermentans and the aerobe Variovorax paradoxus were also amplified from the benzene-degrading enrichment and were present in the benzene-degrading sediments. However, neither G. fermentans nor V. paradoxus is known to oxidize aromatic compounds with the reduction of Fe(III), and there was no apparent enrichment of these organisms in the benzene-degrading sediments. These results suggest that Geobacter spp. play an important role in the anaerobic oxidation of benzene in the Bemidji aquifer and that molecular community analysis may be a powerful tool for predicting a site's capacity for anaerobic benzene degradation. (+info)
Associations between stomach cancer incidence and drinking water contamination with atrazine and nitrate in Ontario (Canada) agroecosystems, 1987-1991.
BACKGROUND: Nitrate and atrazine are two chemicals that are heavily used in certain sectors of agriculture. They are suspected to be associated with the development of certain types of tumours. METHODS: Existing data were obtained on the incidence of specific types of cancers, contamination of drinking water with atrazine and nitrate, and related agricultural practices for the 40 ecodistricts in the province of Ontario. The data were merged into a georelational database for geographical and statistical analyses. Weighted (by population size) least squares regression analyses were conducted while controlling for confounding socioeconomic and lifestyle factors. Maximum likelihood spatial error models were estimated when least square regression error terms were found to be spatially autocorrelated using the Moran's I statistic. RESULTS: Atrazine contamination levels (range 50-649 ng/l, maximum acceptable concentration [MAC] = 60000 ng/l) were positively associated (P < 0.05) with stomach cancer incidence and negatively associated with colon cancer incidence. Nitrate levels, (range 0-91 mg/l, MAC = 10 mg/l) were negatively associated with stomach cancer incidence. CONCLUSION: The associations found at the ecodistrict level, both positive and negative, if confirmed by other studies, raise serious questions about maximum allowable limits for atrazine, as well as possibilities of complex trade-offs among disease outcomes, and interactions of biophysical and social mechanisms which might explain them. Although the negative associations appear to have no direct biological explanations, such counter-intuitive outcomes may occur in complex systems where social and biological variables interact. (+info)
Effects of nonylphenol and 17beta-estradiol on vitellogenin synthesis and testis morphology in male platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus.
Nonylphenol has been found to exert estrogenic effects in fish and may influence the fertility of male fish. In the present study, the effects of nonylphenol and 17beta-estradiol on vitellogenin synthesis and testis morphology in platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus were investigated. Vitellogenin was observed in the plasma of all fish exposed to nonylphenol or 17beta-estradiol. Exposure to 17beta-estradiol resulted in a significant reduction in the gonadosomatic index. A tendency for a dose-dependent reduction in the gonadosomatic index in the nonylphenol exposed groups was observed. Histological examination revealed dose-dependent effects of nonylphenol on the testis structure. The testes of control fish contained numerous cysts with spermatogenetic cells. The testes of fish exposed to nonylphenol or 17beta-estradiol showed a decrease in the number of cysts concomitant with an increase in the amount of hypertrophied Sertoli cells present. Formation of spermatozeugmata is compulsory for this species, but free spermatozoa were observed in the efferent ducts of the treated fish. The study indicates that nonylphenol has estrogenic potency, and that both nonylphenol and 17beta-estradiol have marked effects on the testis morphology of X. maculatus. The ambient concentration of nonylphenol was measured by high pressure liquid chromatography during the experiment. The measurements revealed that the actual concentrations of nonylphenol in the water were about 30-40 % of the nominal concentrations. (+info)
Drinking water turbidity and gastrointestinal illness in the elderly of Philadelphia.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between drinking water quality and gastrointestinal illness in the elderly of Philadelphia. DESIGN: Within the general population, children and the elderly are at highest risk for gastrointestinal disease. This study investigates the potential association between daily fluctuations in drinking water turbidity and subsequent hospital admissions for gastrointestinal illness of elderly persons, controlling for time trends, seasonal patterns, and temperature using Poisson regression analysis. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: All residents of Philadelphia aged 65 and older in 1992-1993 were studied through their MEDICARE records. MAIN RESULTS: For Philadelphia's population aged 65 and older, we found water quality 9 to 11 days before the visit was associated with hospital admissions for gastrointestinal illness, with an interquartile range increase in turbidity being associated with a 9% increase (95% CI 5.3%, 12.7%). In the Belmont service area, there was also an association evident at a lag of 4 to 6 days (9.1% increase, 95% CI 5.2, 13.3). Both associations were stronger in those over 75 than in the population aged 65-74. This association occurred in a filtered water supply in compliance with US standards. CONCLUSIONS: Elderly residents of Philadelphia remain at risk of waterborne gastrointestinal illness under current water treatment practices. Hospitalisations represent a very small percentage of total morbidity. (+info)
Lung function decline in 4-monthly repeated spirometric measurements: due to silt aerosol exposure or decreasing effort?
BACKGROUND: Workers on dredgers and lighters on rivers are exposed to the inhalation of aerosols and dusts. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate effects of river silt aerosol and dust exposure on the respiratory health of dredging employees. METHODS: Six examinations were performed over a period of 2 years at 4-monthly intervals in 54 seamen with higher silt aerosol exposure and 36 controls of the same employer. RESULTS: No significant differences could be observed between the groups at any time of the study but there was an unexpected significant decrease in the age-corrected expiratory vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) and midexpiratory flow rate (MMEF(25/75)) over the six series in both groups. This may indicate a loss of effort of the participants in re-examinations since biological and technical influences were highly unlikely to be the cause of these findings. CONCLUSIONS: Ignoring this possible decline of effort in frequently repeated measurements may result in overestimating potential effects of occupational exposure. (+info)