Publications by authors named "Anthony L Schroeder"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Gene transcription ontogeny of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis development in early-life stage fathead minnow and zebrafish.

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2018 09 4;266:87-100. Epub 2018 May 4.

University of Antwerp, Zebrafishlab, Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Dept. Veterinary Sciences, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium. Electronic address:

The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis is known to play a crucial role in the development of teleost fish. However, knowledge of endogenous transcription profiles of thyroid-related genes in developing teleosts remains fragmented. We selected two model teleost species, the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and the zebrafish (Danio rerio), to compare the gene transcription ontogeny of the HPT axis. Control organisms were sampled at several time points during embryonic and larval development until 33 days post-fertilization. Total RNA was extracted from pooled, whole fish, and thyroid-related mRNA expression was evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Gene transcripts examined included: thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor (trhr), thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (tshr), sodium-iodide symporter (nis), thyroid peroxidase (tpo), thyroglobulin (tg), transthyretin (ttr), deiodinases 1, 2, 3a, and 3b (dio1, dio2, dio3a and 3b), and thyroid hormone receptors alpha and beta (thrα and β). A loess regression method was successful in identifying maxima and minima of transcriptional expression during early development of both species. Overall, we observed great similarities between the species, including maternal transfer, at least to some extent, of almost all transcripts (confirmed in unfertilized eggs), increasing expression of most transcripts during hatching and embryo-larval transition, and indications of a fully functional HPT axis in larvae. These data will aid in the development of hypotheses on the role of certain genes and pathways during development. Furthermore, this provides a background reference dataset for designing and interpreting targeted transcriptional expression studies both for fundamental research and for applications such as toxicology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540109PMC
September 2018

First-generation annotations for the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) genome.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2017 Dec 29;36(12):3436-3442. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota.

Ab initio gene prediction and evidence alignment were used to produce the first annotations for the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) genome. We also describe a genome browser, hosted by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, that provides simplified access to the annotation data in context with the genomic sequence. The present study extends the utility of the fathead minnow genome and supports the continued development of this species as a model organism for predictive toxicology. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3436-3442. Published 2017 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733733PMC
December 2017

Rapid effects of the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole on steroid production and gene expression in the ovary of female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas).

Gen Comp Endocrinol 2017 Oct 21;252:79-87. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

US Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN, USA. Electronic address:

Cytochrome P450 aromatase catalyzes conversion of C19 androgens to C18 estrogens and is critical for normal reproduction in female vertebrates. Fadrozole is a model aromatase inhibitor that has been shown to suppress estrogen production in the ovaries of fish. However, little is known about the early impacts of aromatase inhibition on steroid production and gene expression in fish. Adult female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were exposed via water to 0, 5, or 50µg fadrozole/L for a time-course of 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 6h, or 0 or 50µg fadrozole/L for a time-course of 6, 12, and 24h. We examined ex vivo ovarian 17β-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) production, and plasma E2 concentrations from each study. Expression profiles of genes known or hypothesized to be impacted by fadrozole including aromatase (cytochrome P450 [cyp] 19a1a), steriodogenic acute regulatory protein (star), cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage (cyp11a), cytochrome P450 17 alpha hydroxylase/17,20 lyase (cyp17), and follicle stimulating hormone receptor (fshr) were measured in the ovaries by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). In addition, broader ovarian gene expression was examined using a 15k fathead minnow microarray. The 5µg/L exposure significantly reduced ex vivo E2 production by 6h. In the 50µg/L treatment, ex vivo E2 production was significantly reduced after just 2h of exposure and remained depressed at all time-points examined through 24h. Plasma E2 concentrations were significantly reduced as early as 4h after initiation of exposure to either 5 or 50µg fadrozole/L and remained depressed throughout 24h in the 50µg/L exposure. Ex vivo T concentrations remained unchanged throughout the time-course. Expression of transcripts involved in steroidogenesis increased within the first 24h suggesting rapid induction of a mechanism to compensate for fadrozole inhibition of aromatase. Microarray results also showed fadrozole exposure caused concentration- and time-dependent changes in gene expression profiles in many HPG-axis pathways as early as 4h. This study provides insights into the very rapid effects of aromatase inhibition on steroidogenic processes in fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.07.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010346PMC
October 2017

The genetics of thermosensitive sex determination.

Temperature (Austin) 2017 15;4(2):109-111. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

Math, Science, and Technology Department University of Minnesota, Crookston, MN 56716, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2016.1259723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5489005PMC
November 2016

An "EAR" on Environmental Surveillance and Monitoring: A Case Study on the Use of Exposure-Activity Ratios (EARs) to Prioritize Sites, Chemicals, and Bioactivities of Concern in Great Lakes Waters.

Environ Sci Technol 2017 Aug 18;51(15):8713-8724. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Mid-Continent Ecology Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , 6201 Congdon Blvd., Duluth, Minnesota 55804, United States.

Current environmental monitoring approaches focus primarily on chemical occurrence. However, based on concentration alone, it can be difficult to identify which compounds may be of toxicological concern and should be prioritized for further monitoring, in-depth testing, or management. This can be problematic because toxicological characterization is lacking for many emerging contaminants. New sources of high-throughput screening (HTS) data, such as the ToxCast database, which contains information for over 9000 compounds screened through up to 1100 bioassays, are now available. Integrated analysis of chemical occurrence data with HTS data offers new opportunities to prioritize chemicals, sites, or biological effects for further investigation based on concentrations detected in the environment linked to relative potencies in pathway-based bioassays. As a case study, chemical occurrence data from a 2012 study in the Great Lakes Basin along with the ToxCast effects database were used to calculate exposure-activity ratios (EARs) as a prioritization tool. Technical considerations of data processing and use of the ToxCast database are presented and discussed. EAR prioritization identified multiple sites, biological pathways, and chemicals that warrant further investigation. Prioritized bioactivities from the EAR analysis were linked to discrete adverse outcome pathways to identify potential adverse outcomes and biomarkers for use in subsequent monitoring efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b01613DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6132252PMC
August 2017

Impaired swim bladder inflation in early life stage fathead minnows exposed to a deiodinase inhibitor, iopanoic acid.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2017 Nov 28;36(11):2942-2952. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.

Inflation of the posterior and/or anterior swim bladder is a process previously demonstrated to be regulated by thyroid hormones. We investigated whether inhibition of deiodinases, which convert thyroxine (T4) to the more biologically active form, 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), would impact swim bladder inflation. Two experiments were conducted using a model deiodinase inhibitor, iopanoic acid (IOP). First, fathead minnow embryos were exposed to 0.6, 1.9, or 6.0 mg/L or control water until 6 d postfertilization (dpf), at which time posterior swim bladder inflation was assessed. To examine anterior swim bladder inflation, a second study was conducted with 6-dpf larvae exposed to the same IOP concentrations until 21 dpf. Fish from both studies were sampled for T4/T3 measurements and gene transcription analyses. Incidence and length of inflated posterior swim bladders were significantly reduced in the 6.0 mg/L treatment at 6 dpf. Incidence of inflation and length of anterior swim bladder were significantly reduced in all IOP treatments at 14 dpf, but inflation recovered by 18 dpf. Throughout the larval study, whole-body T4 concentrations increased and T3 concentrations decreased in all IOP treatments. Consistent with hypothesized compensatory responses, deiodinase-2 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) was up-regulated in the larval study, and thyroperoxidase mRNA was down-regulated in all IOP treatments in both studies. These results support the hypothesized adverse outcome pathways linking inhibition of deiodinase activity to impaired swim bladder inflation. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2942-2952. Published 2017 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733732PMC
November 2017

Prior knowledge-based approach for associating contaminants with biological effects: A case study in the St. Croix River basin, MN, WI, USA.

Environ Pollut 2017 Feb 8;221:427-436. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Duluth, MN 55804, USA. Electronic address:

Evaluating potential adverse effects of complex chemical mixtures in the environment is challenging. One way to address that challenge is through more integrated analysis of chemical monitoring and biological effects data. In the present study, water samples from five locations near two municipal wastewater treatment plants in the St. Croix River basin, on the border of MN and WI, USA, were analyzed for 127 organic contaminants. Known chemical-gene interactions were used to develop site-specific knowledge assembly models (KAMs) and formulate hypotheses concerning possible biological effects associated with chemicals detected in water samples from each location. Additionally, hepatic gene expression data were collected for fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed in situ, for 12 d, at each location. Expression data from oligonucleotide microarrays were analyzed to identify functional annotation terms enriched among the differentially-expressed probes. The general nature of many of the terms made hypothesis formulation on the basis of the transcriptome-level response alone difficult. However, integrated analysis of the transcriptome data in the context of the site-specific KAMs allowed for evaluation of the likelihood of specific chemicals contributing to observed biological responses. Thirteen chemicals (atrazine, carbamazepine, metformin, thiabendazole, diazepam, cholesterol, p-cresol, phenytoin, omeprazole, ethyromycin, 17β-estradiol, cimetidine, and estrone), for which there was statistically significant concordance between occurrence at a site and expected biological response as represented in the KAM, were identified. While not definitive, the approach provides a line of evidence for evaluating potential cause-effect relationships between components of a complex mixture of contaminants and biological effects data, which can inform subsequent monitoring and investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.12.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6139436PMC
February 2017

An integrated approach for identifying priority contaminant in the Great Lakes Basin - Investigations in the Lower Green Bay/Fox River and Milwaukee Estuary areas of concern.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Feb 18;579:825-837. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201 Congdon Boulevard, Duluth, MN, USA, 55804.

Environmental assessment of complex mixtures typically requires integration of chemical and biological measurements. This study demonstrates the use of a combination of instrumental chemical analyses, effects-based monitoring, and bio-effects prediction approaches to help identify potential hazards and priority contaminants in two Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs), the Lower Green Bay/Fox River located near Green Bay, WI, USA and the Milwaukee Estuary, located near Milwaukee, WI, USA. Fathead minnows were caged at four sites within each AOC (eight sites total). Following 4d of in situ exposure, tissues and biofluids were sampled and used for targeted biological effects analyses. Additionally, 4d composite water samples were collected concurrently at each caged fish site and analyzed for 132 analytes as well as evaluated for total estrogenic and androgenic activity using cell-based bioassays. Of the analytes examined, 75 were detected in composite samples from at least one site. Based on multiple analyses, one site in the East River and another site near a paper mill discharge in the Lower Green Bay/Fox River AOC, were prioritized due to their estrogenic and androgenic activity, respectively. The water samples from other sites generally did not exhibit significant estrogenic or androgenic activity, nor was there evidence for endocrine disruption in the fish exposed at these sites as indicated by the lack of alterations in ex vivo steroid production, circulating steroid concentrations, or vitellogenin mRNA expression in males. Induction of hepatic cyp1a mRNA expression was detected at several sites, suggesting the presence of chemicals that activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. To expand the scope beyond targeted investigation of endpoints selected a priori, several bio-effects prediction approaches were employed to identify other potentially disturbed biological pathways and related chemical constituents that may warrant future monitoring at these sites. For example, several chemicals such as diethylphthalate and naphthalene, and genes and related pathways, such as cholinergic receptor muscarinic 3 (CHRM3), estrogen receptor alpha1 (esr1), chemokine ligand 10 protein (CXCL10), tumor protein p53 (p53), and monoamine oxidase B (Maob), were identified as candidates for future assessments at these AOCs. Overall, this study demonstrates that a better prioritization of contaminants and associated hazards can be achieved through integrated evaluation of multiple lines of evidence. Such prioritization can guide more comprehensive follow-up risk assessment efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6086123PMC
February 2017

Linking field-based metabolomics and chemical analyses to prioritize contaminants of emerging concern in the Great Lakes basin.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2016 10 21;35(10):2493-2502. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, Georgia.

The ability to focus on the most biologically relevant contaminants affecting aquatic ecosystems can be challenging because toxicity-assessment programs have not kept pace with the growing number of contaminants requiring testing. Because it has proven effective at assessing the biological impacts of potentially toxic contaminants, profiling of endogenous metabolites (metabolomics) may help screen out contaminants with a lower likelihood of eliciting biological impacts, thereby prioritizing the most biologically important contaminants. The authors present results from a study that utilized cage-deployed fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) at 18 sites across the Great Lakes basin. They measured water temperature and contaminant concentrations in water samples (132 contaminants targeted, 86 detected) and used H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure endogenous metabolites in polar extracts of livers. They used partial least-squares regression to compare relative abundances of endogenous metabolites with contaminant concentrations and temperature. The results indicated that profiles of endogenous polar metabolites covaried with at most 49 contaminants. The authors identified up to 52% of detected contaminants as not significantly covarying with changes in endogenous metabolites, suggesting they likely were not eliciting measurable impacts at these sites. This represents a first step in screening for the biological relevance of detected contaminants by shortening lists of contaminants potentially affecting these sites. Such information may allow risk assessors to prioritize contaminants and focus toxicity testing on the most biologically relevant contaminants. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2493-2502. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3409DOI Listing
October 2016

A Novel Candidate Gene for Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in the Common Snapping Turtle.

Genetics 2016 05 2;203(1):557-71. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Department of Biology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202

Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) was described nearly 50 years ago. Researchers have since identified many genes that display differential expression at male- vs. female-producing temperatures. Yet, it is unclear whether these genes (1) are involved in sex determination per se, (2) are downstream effectors involved in differentiation of ovaries and testes, or (3) are thermo-sensitive but unrelated to gonad development. Here we present multiple lines of evidence linking CIRBP to sex determination in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina We demonstrate significant associations between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (c63A > C) in CIRBP, transcript levels in embryonic gonads during specification of gonad fate, and sex in hatchlings from a thermal regime that produces mixed sex ratios. The A allele was induced in embryos exposed to a female-producing temperature, while expression of the C allele did not differ between female- and male-producing temperatures. In accord with this pattern of temperature-dependent, allele-specific expression, AA homozygotes were more likely to develop ovaries than AC heterozygotes, which, in turn, were more likely to develop ovaries than CC homozygotes. Multiple regression using SNPs in CIRBP and adjacent loci suggests that c63A > C may be the causal variant or closely linked to it. Differences in CIRBP allele frequencies among turtles from northern Minnesota, southern Minnesota, and Texas reflect small and large-scale latitudinal differences in TSD pattern. Finally, analysis of CIRBP protein localization reveals that CIRBP is in a position to mediate temperature effects on the developing gonads. Together, these studies strongly suggest that CIRBP is involved in determining the fate of the bipotential gonad.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.115.182840DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4858799PMC
May 2016

Environmental surveillance and monitoring--The next frontiers for high-throughput toxicology.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2016 Mar;35(3):513-25

National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.

High-throughput toxicity testing technologies along with the World Wide Web are revolutionizing both generation of and access to data regarding the biological activities that chemicals can elicit when they interact with specific proteins, genes, or other targets in the body of an organism. To date, however, most of the focus has been on the application of such data to assessment of individual chemicals. The authors suggest that environmental surveillance and monitoring represent the next frontiers for high-throughput toxicity testing. Resources already exist in curated databases of chemical-biological interactions, including highly standardized quantitative dose-response data generated from nascent high-throughput toxicity testing programs such as ToxCast and Tox21, to link chemicals detected through environmental analytical chemistry to known biological activities. The emergence of the adverse outcome pathway framework and the associated knowledge base for linking molecular-level or pathway-level perturbations of biological systems to adverse outcomes traditionally considered in risk assessment and regulatory decision-making through a series of measurable biological changes provides a critical link between activity and hazard. Furthermore, environmental samples can be directly analyzed via high-throughput toxicity testing platforms to provide an unprecedented breadth of biological activity characterization that integrates the effects of all compounds present in a mixture, whether known or not. Novel application of these chemical-biological interaction data provides an opportunity to transform scientific characterization of potential hazards associated with exposure to complex mixtures of environmental contaminants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3309DOI Listing
March 2016

Impaired anterior swim bladder inflation following exposure to the thyroid peroxidase inhibitor 2-mercaptobenzothiazole part I: Fathead minnow.

Aquat Toxicol 2016 Apr 7;173:192-203. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, 6201Congdon Blvd., Duluth, MN 55804, USA.

In the present study, a hypothesized adverse outcome pathway linking inhibition of thyroid peroxidase (TPO) activity to impaired swim bladder inflation was investigated in two experiments in which fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were exposed to 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT). Continuous exposure to 1mg MBT/L for up to 22 days had no effect on inflation of the posterior chamber of the swim bladder, which typically inflates around 6 days post fertilization (dpf), a period during which maternally-derived thyroid hormone is presumed to be present. In contrast, inflation of the anterior swim bladder, which occurs around 14dpf, was impacted. Specifically, at 14dpf, approximately 50% of fish exposed to 1mg MBT/L did not have an inflated anterior swim bladder. In fish exposed to MBT through 21 or 22dpf, the anterior swim bladder was able to inflate, but the ratio of the anterior/posterior chamber length was significantly reduced compared to controls. Both abundance of thyroid peroxidase mRNA and thyroid follicle histology suggest that fathead minnows mounted a compensatory response to the presumed inhibition of TPO activity by MBT. Time-course characterization showed that fish exposed to MBT for at least 4 days prior to normal anterior swim bladder inflation had significant reductions in anterior swim bladder size, relative to the posterior chamber, compared to controls. These results, along with similar results observed in zebrafish (see part II, this issue) are consistent with the hypothesis that thyroid hormone signaling plays a significant role in mediating anterior swim bladder inflation and development in cyprinids, and that role can be disrupted by exposure to thyroid hormone synthesis inhibitors. Nonetheless, possible thyroid-independent actions of MBT on anterior swim bladder inflation cannot be ruled out based on the present results. Overall, although anterior swim bladder inflation has not been directly linked to survival as posterior swim bladder inflation has, potential links to adverse ecological outcomes are plausible given involvement of the anterior chamber in sound production and detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.12.024DOI Listing
April 2016

Impaired anterior swim bladder inflation following exposure to the thyroid peroxidase inhibitor 2-mercaptobenzothiazole part II: Zebrafish.

Aquat Toxicol 2016 Apr 18;173:204-217. Epub 2016 Jan 18.

Zebrafishlab, Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium. Electronic address:

Disruption of the thyroid hormone (TH) system, an important mode of action, can lead to ecologically relevant adverse outcomes, especially during embryonic development. The present study characterizes the effects of disruption of TH synthesis on swim bladder inflation during zebrafish early-life stages using 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), a thyroid peroxidase (TPO) inhibitor. Zebrafish were exposed to different MBT concentrations until 120/168h post fertilization (hpf) and 32days post fertilization (dpf), in two sets of experiments, to investigate the effects of TPO inhibition on posterior and anterior swim bladder inflation respectively, as well as whole body thyroid hormone concentrations (triiodothyronine (T3) and its prohormone, thyroxine (T4)). At 120hpf, MBT did not directly impair posterior chamber inflation or size, while anterior chamber inflation and size was impaired at 32dpf. As previously shown in amphibians and mammals, we confirmed that MBT inhibits TPO in fish. Whole-body T4 decreased after MBT exposure at both time points, while T3 levels were unaltered. There was a significant relationship between T4 levels and the anterior chamber surface at 32dpf. The absence of effects on posterior chamber inflation can possibly be explained by maternal transfer of T4 into the eggs. These maternally derived THs are depleted at 32dpf and cannot offset TPO inhibition, resulting in impaired anterior chamber inflation. Therefore, we hypothesize that TPO inhibition only inhibits swim bladder inflation during late development, after depletion of maternally derived T4. In a previous study, we showed that iodothyronine deiodinase (ID) knockdown impaired posterior chamber inflation during early development. Our findings, in parallel with similar effects observed in fathead minnow (see part I, this issue) suggest that thyroid disruption impacts swim bladder inflation, and imply an important distinction among specific subtypes of TH disrupting chemicals. However, the existence of another - yet unknown - mode of action of MBT impacting swim bladder inflation cannot be excluded. These results can be helpful for delineating adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) linking TPO inhibition, ID inhibition and other TH related molecular initiating events, to impaired swim bladder inflation in fish during early life stages. Such AOPs can support the use of in vitro enzyme inhibition assays for predicting reduced survival due to impaired posterior and anterior chamber inflation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.12.023DOI Listing
April 2016

Pathway-based approaches for assessment of real-time exposure to an estrogenic wastewater treatment plant effluent on fathead minnow reproduction.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2016 Mar 9;35(3):702-16. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.

Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are known contributors of chemical mixtures into the environment. Of particular concern are endocrine-disrupting compounds, such as estrogens, which can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis function in exposed organisms. The present study examined reproductive effects in fathead minnows exposed for 21 d to a historically estrogenic WWTP effluent. Fathead minnow breeding pairs were held in control water or 1 of 3 effluent concentrations (5%, 20%, and 100%) in a novel onsite, flow-through system providing real-time exposure. The authors examined molecular and biochemical endpoints representing key events along adverse outcome pathways linking estrogen receptor activation and other molecular initiating events to reproductive impairment. In addition, the authors used chemical analysis of the effluent to construct a chemical-gene interaction network to aid in targeted gene expression analyses and identifying potentially impacted biological pathways. Cumulative fecundity was significantly reduced in fish exposed to 100% effluent but increased in those exposed to 20% effluent, the approximate dilution factor in the receiving waters. Plasma vitellogenin concentrations in males increased in a dose-dependent manner with effluent concentration; however, male fertility was not impacted. Although in vitro analyses, analytical chemistry, and biomarker responses confirmed the effluent was estrogenic, estrogen receptor agonists were unlikely the primary driver of impaired reproduction. The results provide insights into the significance of pathway-based effects with regard to predicting adverse reproductive outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3228DOI Listing
March 2016

Transcriptomic effects-based monitoring for endocrine active chemicals: assessing relative contribution of treated wastewater to downstream pollution.

Environ Sci Technol 2014 Feb 10;48(4):2385-94. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

University of St. Thomas , Department of Biology, Mail OWS 390, 2115 Summit Ave., Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105, United States.

The present study investigated whether a combination of targeted analytical chemistry information with unsupervised, data-rich biological methodology (i.e., transcriptomics) could be utilized to evaluate relative contributions of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents to biological effects. The effects of WWTP effluents on fish exposed to ambient, receiving waters were studied at three locations with distinct WWTP and watershed characteristics. At each location, 4 d exposures of male fathead minnows to the WWTP effluent and upstream and downstream ambient waters were conducted. Transcriptomic analyses were performed on livers using 15,000 feature microarrays, followed by a canonical pathway and gene set enrichment analyses. Enrichment of gene sets indicative of teleost brain-pituitary-gonadal-hepatic (BPGH) axis function indicated that WWTPs serve as an important source of endocrine active chemicals (EACs) that affect the BPGH axis (e.g., cholesterol and steroid metabolism were altered). The results indicated that transcriptomics may even pinpoint pertinent adverse outcomes (i.e., liver vacuolization) and groups of chemicals that preselected chemical analytes may miss. Transcriptomic Effects-Based monitoring was capable of distinguishing sites, and it reflected chemical pollution gradients, thus holding promise for assessment of relative contributions of point sources to pollution and the efficacy of pollution remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es404027nDOI Listing
February 2014
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