In vivo assessment of the capacity of androstenedione to masculinize female mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) exposed through dietary and static renewal methods

Academic Article


  • In this study, we investigated the capacity of androstenedione to masculinize female mosquitofish. Previous studies have identified androstenedione in the water and sediment of the Fenholloway River, a Florida, USA, coastal river that receives paper mill effluent and contains masculinized eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Females of the closely related western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, were exposed to androstenedione through both dietary and static renewal treatments. Morphological masculinization of female mosquitofish is characterized by the development of a male secondary sexual trait: an elongated and modified anal fin (gonopodium). Dietary exposure to 0.7, 7, 70, and 700 μg of androstenedione per gram of food failed to induce gonopodial development at any concentration within the six-week exposure period. Static renewal treatments used androstenedione concentrations of 0.14, 1.4, 14, 140, and 350 nM. Significant anal fin ray elongation was observed in all but the lowest exposure group. Fish growth during the static renewal exposure experiment was negatively correlated with androstenedione concentration. No significant effects were observed for gonadosomatic index, vitellogenin expression, or ovarian area in fish exposed to androstenedione via either the dietary or static renewal methods. These results indicate that exposure to androstenedione via water can cause masculinization of adult female mosquitofish in a relatively short period of time and that acute dietary exposure to androstenedione at the concentrations used is not sufficient to induce masculinization. © 2007 SETAC.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stanko JP; Angus RA
  • Start Page

  • 920
  • End Page

  • 926
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 5