Accumulation and effects of 4-nonylphenol in chinook salmon fry and their estuarine amphipod prey Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pk02cf03j

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  • 4-nonylphenol (NP), a surfactant degradation product, is an unregulated, ubiquitous aquatic contaminant and endocrine disruptor, for which aquatic life criteria are currently under development by U.S. EPA. The effects of NP on estuarine amphipods and chinook salmon fry were investigated, and this dissertation reports research into the impacts of NP bioaccumulation on the amphipods and resultant endocrine disruption of their juvenile salmon predators. Sensitivity to, and bioaccumulation of, NP by benthic amphipods were quantified. Factors affecting the bioavailability of NP to three species of amphipod (Eohaustorius estuarius, Grandidierella japonica, and Corophium salmonis) were determined in contaminated sediments. Standard bioassay techniques were modified to determine toxicity and bioaccumulation, with varying amounts and differing nutritional qualities of sedimentary organic carbon. ¹⁴C-Ring-labeled NP was used as a tracer in the experiments to quantify amphipod exposures. NP was acutely toxic to Eohaustorius estuarius from aqueous exposures, mean (+/-SD) LC50=227 μg/L +/- 56, 1 h mean reburial EC50=138 +/- 36. The predicted LC50 for NP (202 μg/L) from an amphipod-derived structure-activity relationship was not significantly different (p>0.05) from our empirically derived LC50 (227 μg/L). All three amphipod species accumulated significant NP body burdens. Accumulation was inversely proportional to the total amount of organic carbon, but it did not differ between types of organic matter. Calculated accumulation factors indicated that amphipods could be an important and previously unrecognized source of NP to higher trophic levels. Plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) was quantified in juvenile chinook salmon following dietary exposure to NP contaminated amphipods and aqueous exposure to multiple NP concentrations. Fry that had fed upon contaminated amphipods did not have significantly greater Vtg levels than controls; however, Vtg was detected in 30 percent of fry. NP aqueous concentrations at 60 and 240 μg/L significantly induced Vtg in fry following 5 d exposures. The 240 μg/L aquatic NP treatment fry had comparable levels of Vtg to the positive control treatment in which fry were injected 17B-estradiol. These results indicate that amphipods are potential vectors of sediment NP to higher trophic levels within the water column, including juvenile chinook salmon.
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