Embryonic exposure to o,p'-DDT causes eggshell thinning and altered shell gland carbonic anhydrase expression in the domestic hen
2006 (English)In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, ISSN 0730-7268, E-ISSN 1552-8618, Vol. 25, no 10, 2787-2793 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The mechanism for contaminant-induced eggshell thinning in wild birds remains to be clarified. It is generally assumed, however, that it results from exposure of the adult laying female. We have reported that embryonic exposure to the synthetic estrogen ethynylestradiol (EE2) results in eggshell thinning in the domestic hen. The objective of this study was to investigate whether eggshell thinning can be induced following in ovo exposure to a bioaccumulating estrogenic environmental contaminant, o,p '-DDT. Ethynylestradiol was used as a positive control. Domestic hens exposed in ovo to o,p '-DDT (37 or 75 mu g/g egg) or EE2 (60 ng/g egg) laid eggs with thinner shells than the control birds. The hens from these exposure groups also had a significantly reduced frequency of shell gland capillaries with carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity, a key enzyme in eggshell formation. The decreased number of capillaries with CA activity suggests that a developmentally induced disruption of CA expression in the shell gland was involved in the eggshell thinning found in this study. Egg laying was not affected in hens exposed embryonically to 37 or 75 mu g o,p '-DDT/g egg, whereas it was inhibited in hens exposed to higher doses. Decreased lengths of the left oviduct and its infundibulum were seen after embryonic treatment with o,p '-DDT or EE2. In addition, o,p '-DDT exposure resulted in right oviduct retention. The results support our hypothesis that eggshell thinning in avian wildlife can result from a functional malformation in the shell gland, induced by embryonic exposure to estrogenic substances.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 25, no 10, 2787-2793 p.
embryonic exposure, o, p '-DDT, eggshell thinning, carbonic anhydrase, shell gland
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-19435DOI: 10.1897/05-619R.1ISI: 000240602800030PubMedID: 17022422OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-19435DiVA: diva2:47207