Screening of multiple hormonal activities in surface water and sediment from the Pearl River system, South China, using effect-directed in vitro bioassays

Authors

  • Jian-Liang Zhao,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Guang-Guo Ying,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
    • State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
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  • Bin Yang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Shan Liu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Li-Jun Zhou,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Zhi-Feng Chen,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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  • Hua-Jie Lai

    1. State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

This paper reports screening of multiple hormonal activities (estrogenic and androgenic activities, antiestrogenic and antiandrogenic activities) for surface water and sediment from the Pearl River system (Liuxi, Zhujiang, and Shijing rivers) in South China, using in vitro recombinant yeast bioassays. The detection frequencies for estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities were both 100% in surface water and 81 and 93% in sediment, respectively. The levels of estrogenic activity were 0.23 to 324 ng 17β-estradiol equivalent concentration (EEQ)/L in surface water and 0 to 101 ng EEQ/g in sediment. Antiandrogenic activities were in the range of 20.4 to 935 × 103 ng flutamide equivalent concentration (FEQ)/L in surface water and 0 to 154 × 103 ng FEQ/g in sediment. Moreover, estrogenic activity and antiandrogenic activity in sediment showed good correlation (R2 = 0.7187), suggesting that the agonists of estrogen receptor and the antagonists of androgen receptor co-occurred in sediment. The detection frequencies for androgenic and antiestrogenic activities were 41 and 29% in surface water and 61 and 4% in sediment, respectively. The levels of androgenic activities were 0 to 45.4 ng dihydrotestosterone equivalent concentration (DEQ)/L in surface water, and the potency was very weak in the only detected sediment site. The levels of antiestrogenic activity were 0 to 1,296 × 103 ng tamoxifen equivalent concentration (TEQ)/L in surface water and 0 to 89.5 × 103 ng TEQ/g in sediment. The Shijing River displayed higher levels of hormonal activities than the Zhujiang and Liuxi rivers, indicating that the Shijing River had been suffering from heavy contamination with endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The equivalent concentrations of hormonal activities in some sites were greater than the lowest-observed-effect concentrations reported in the literature, suggesting potential adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:2208–2215. © 2011 SETAC

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