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Maria Hansson. Photo.

Maria Hansson

Senior lecturer

Maria Hansson. Photo.

17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2) treatment of wild roach (Rutilus rutilus) during early life development disrupts expression of genes directly involved in the feedback cycle of estrogen.


  • Lina Nikoleris
  • Cecilia Hultin
  • Per Hallgren
  • Maria Hansson

Summary, in English

Fish are more sensitive to introduced disturbances from synthetic endocrine disrupting compounds during early life phases compared with mature stages. 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2), which is the active compound in human oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies, is today ever present in the effluents from sewage treatment plants. EE2 targets and interacts with the endogenous biological systems of exposed vertebrates resulting in to large extents unknown short- and long-term effects. We investigated how EE2 exposure affects expression profiles of a large number of target genes during early life of roach (Rutilus rutilus). We exposed fertilized roach eggs collected from a lake in Southern Sweden to EE2 for 12weeks together with 1+-year-old roach in aquaria. We measured the gene expression of the estrogen receptor (esr)1/2a/2b, androgen receptor (ar), vitellogenin, cytochrome P450 (cyp)19a1a/1b in fertilized eggs; newly hatched larvae; 12-week-old fry; and juvenile wild roach (1+-year-old). Results shows that an EE2 concentration as low as 0.5ng/L significantly affects gene expression during early development. Gene expression responses vary both among life stages and molecular receptors. We also show that the gene profile of the estrogen feedback cycle to a large extent depends on the relationship between the three esr genes and the two cyp19a1 genes, which are all up-regulated with age. Results indicate that a disruption of the natural activity of the dominant esr gene could lead to detrimental biological effects if EE2 exposure occurs during development, even if this exposure occurred for only a short period.


  • Biodiversity
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Division aquatic ecology

Publishing year







Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology



Document type

Journal article




  • Environmental Sciences
  • Genetics




  • Endocrine disrupters in aquatic environments and impact on organisms
  • Hur hormonreceptorer uttrycks, evolverar och påverkars av miljöföroreningar i lax- och öringspopulationer
  • Estrogen receptor and multixenobiotic resistance genes in freshwater fish and snails: identification and expression analysis after pharmaceutical exposure


  • ISSN: 1532-0456