Disruption of Oocyte Maturation by Selected Environmental Chemicals in Zebrafish

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Toxicology in Vitro


Oocyte maturation can be a target of endocrine disruption by environmental chemicals capable of acting as hormone mimics, receptor blockers, and/or enzyme inhibitors. Six environmental chemicals (genistein, endosulfan, malathion, iprodione, carbaryl, and glyphosate) were selected to determine their ability to interfere with oocyte maturation in zebrafish. The translucent oocytes undergoing germinal vesicle (nucleus) breakdown (GVBD) were counted and expressed as a ratio of oocytes undergoing GVBD and total oocytes exposed. The GVBD increased significantly in oocytes exposed to 10 IU/ml to 100 IU/ml human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The lowest effective concentration of genistein that inhibited hCG-induced GVBD was 30 μM, while endosulfan inhibited it at 0.03 μM concentration. In addition, malathion inhibited hCG-induced GVBD at the lowest concentration of 60 μM. These inhibitory effects were likely due to the chemicals acting as estrogen mimics, induction of estrogen receptors, or increase in aromatase activity resulting in enhanced estrogen action. Fungicide iprodione, possibly acting as a progestin mimic, promoted hCG-induced GVBD at the lowest concentration of 20 μM, while the weed killer glyphosate inhibited hCG-induced GVBD starting at the 50 μM concentration. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using fully grown zebrafish oocytes arrested at the prophase I stage in an in vitro incubation system to evaluate the effects of a variety of environmental chemicals on oocyte maturation.



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Fungicide iprodione, Germinal vesicle breakdown, Maturation-inducing hormone, Pesticides, Phytoestrogen genistein, Weed killer glyphosate