Over the past 25 years, extensive research in vertebrate species has identified several genomic pathways altered by exposures to anthropogenic chemicals with hormone-like activity mediated by their interaction with nuclear receptors. In addition, many pollutants have been shown to interfere with non-genomic (non-classical) pathways, but this mechanism of endocrine disruption is still poorly understood. Recently, the number of publications describing the effects of Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on fish reproduction, focusing on the deregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis as well as on gamete quality, significantly increased. Depending on their ability to mimic endogenous hormones, the may differently affect male or female reproductive physiology. Inhibition of gametogenesis, development of intersex gonads, alteration of the gonadosomatic index, and decreased fertility rate have been largely documented. In males, alterations of sperm density, motility, and fertility have been observed in several wild species. Similar detrimental effects were described in females, including negative outcomes on oocyte growth and maturation plus the occurrence of apoptotic/autophagic processes. These pathways may affect gamete viability considered as one of the major indicators of reproductive endocrine disruption. Pollutants act also at DNA level producing DNA mutations and changes in epigenetic pathways inducing specific mechanisms of toxicity and/or aberrant cellular responses that may affect subsequent generation(s) through the germline. In conclusion, this review summarizes the effects caused by EDC exposure on fish reproduction, focusing on gametogenesis, giving a general overview of the different aspects dealing with this issue, from morphological alteration, deregulation of steroidogenesis, hormonal synthesis, and occurrence of epigenetic process.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in aquatic environment: what are the risks for fish gametes? / Carnevali, Oliana; Santangeli, Stefania; Forner-Piquer, Isabel; Basili, Danilo; Maradonna, Francesca. - In: FISH PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0920-1742. - (2018). [10.1007/s10695-018-0507-z]