Accurate Prediction of the Response of Freshwater Fish to a Mixture of Estrogenic Chemicals

J.V. Brian, C.A. Harris, M. Scholze, T. Backhaus, P. Booij, M.H. Lamoree, G. Pojana, N. Jonkers, T. Runnalls, A Bonfa, A. Marcomini, J.P. Sumpter

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Existing environmental risk assessment procedures are limited in their ability to evaluate the combined effects of chemical mixtures. We investigated the implications of this by analyzing the combined effects of a multicomponent mixture of five estrogenic chemicals using vitellogenin induction in male fathead minnows as an end point. The mixture consisted of estradiol, ethynylestradiol, nonylphenol, octylphenol, and bisphenol A. We determined concentration-response curves for each of the chemicals individually. The chemicals were then combined at equipotent concentrations and the mixture tested using fixed-ratio design. The effects of the mixture were compared with those predicted by the model of concentration addition using biomathematical methods, which revealed that there was no deviation between the observed and predicted effects of the mixture. These findings demonstrate that estrogenic chemicals have the capacity to act together in an additive manner and that their combined effects can be accurately predicted by concentration addition. We also explored the potential for mixture effects at low concentrations by exposing the fish to each chemical at one-fifth of its median effective concentration (EC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-728
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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