Life-cycle toxicity of 4-nonylphenol to medaka (Oryzias latipes)



We studied the chronic effects of 4-nonylphenol (4-NP) on reproductive status of medaka (Oryzias latipes) over two generations of continuous exposure. The exposure study of the parental (F0) medaka was begun on embryos within 24 h postfertilization and continued with monitoring through embryological development, hatching, posthatch survival, growth, sexual differentiation, and reproduction under flow-through exposures to mean measured 4-NP concentrations of 4.2, 8.2, 17.7, 51.5, and 183 μg/L for up to 104 d. Eggs spawned from the F0 fish at 102 and 103 d posthatch were also examined for hatchability, survival after hatching, growth, and sexual differentiation until 60 d posthatch. The 183-μg/L treatment significantly reduced the embryo survival and swim-up success of the F0 fish. The cumulative mortality after swim-up of the F0 fish exposed to 17.7 and 51.5 μg/L were significantly higher than the control mortality. No concentration-related effect of 4-NP was observed on the growth of surviving F0 fish at 60 d posthatch. However, the sex ratio estimated from the appearance of their secondary sex characteristics was skewed toward female in the 51.5μg/L treatment. Additionally, gonadal histology showed that 20% of the fish in the 17.7-μg/L treatment and 40% in the 51.5-μg/L treatment had testis–ova, indicating that 4-NP affects the gonadal development and survival of medaka at similar concentrations in juveniles. The sex ratio of the F0 fish in the 51.5-μg/L treatment was completely skewed toward female; subsequently, the effects on fecundity and fertility in this generation were monitored at mean measured concentrations of 4.2, 8.2, and 17.7 μg/L from 71 to 103 d posthatch. Fecundity was unaffected by any of the treatments examined. The mean fertility in the 17.7-μg/L treatment was reduced to 76% of that in the controls, although no statistically significant differences were determined. Overall, these results indicate that the lowest-observed-effect concentration (LOEC) and no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) of 4-NP through the life cycle of the F0 medaka were 17.7 and 8.2 μg/L, respectively. In the F1 medaka, no significant effects were observed on hatching success, posthatch mortality, or growth, but sexual differentiation at 60 d posthatch was affected. Induction of testis–ova in the gonads of the F1 fish was observed in both the 8.2- and the 17.7-μg/L concentrations. The results indicate that 4-NP can have significant effects on reproductive potential of medaka at concentrations as low as 17.7 μg/L.