Mature male medaka were continuously exposed to 0.005, 0.0–5 or 1.0 ppb of estradiol-17β (E2 or 0.1, 10 or 100 ppb of p-nonylphenol (NP) or bis-phenol-A (BPA). Female-specific proteins (Fsp) were induced in medaka exposed to 0.005 ppb of E2, 0.1 ppb of NP, or 10 ppb of BPA. Concentrations of 0.005 pbb of E2 and 0.1 ppb of NP corresponded to concentrations of these chemicals detected in river water in Japan. The abilities of the 3 chemicals to induce Fsp were E2> NP> BPA. Embryonic medaka were exposed to E2, NP and BPA under conditions of static-renewal for 200–230 days until pre-maturity. Survival ratios of medaka exposed to E2 and NP declined in concentrations more than 25 ppb and 50 ppb, respectively. The groups of medaka exposed to E2 had individuals with testis-ova or abnormal gonad. There was no male in exposure to 1.0 ppb E2. When exposed to 100 ppb of NP or BPA, abnormal gonad was also detected. Abnormal anal fin (female-like) was observed in male exposed to 100 ppb of NP. The LC50 values for each of the 3 chemicals were much higher than the concentrations detected in water in the environment—the 3 chemicals were considered to have no lethal effect on medaka in aquatic environments. However, exposures to E2 or NP at environmental concentrations induced Fsp. BPA also had the ability to affect medaka as an environmental estrogen, although its extrogenic activity was weaker than that of E2 or NP.

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