There are many endocrine‐disrupting chemicals in the environment that have the potential to alter the development of sexual characteristics in fish and wildlife. Little is known about the factors that influence the development of an intersex condition in fish. Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) were exposed to octylphenol (OP), a known estrogen agonist, during various life history stages to determine the factors that control induction of testis‐ova, an intersex condition. In male medaka exposed to OP (100 μg/L) beginning at 1, 3, 7, 21, and 35 d posthatch, the incidence of testis‐ova at 100 d posthatch was highest in the 3‐d posthatch treatment (4 of 14 males) and declined when exposures were initiated with older fry. Exposure to OP (100 μg/L) from hatch for a period of 1 or 2 months did not induce testis‐ova, but exposure for 3 months resulted in 3 of 50 males developing this condition. Exposures of adult male medaka to OP (200 and 300 μg/L) for either 18 or 36 d resulted in only one testis‐ova in a male fish exposed for 36 d to the highest nominal concentration. In addition to testis‐ova, male medaka exposed to OP developed testicular fibrosis. Overall, these data indicate that prolonged exposure of male medaka to an estrogen agonist beginning around the period of gonadal differentiation is optimal for the development of testis‐ova, but this intersex condition can be induced when exposure begins at later life stages.
Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1999
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