Development of methods for extraction and in vitro quantification of estrogenic and androgenic activity of wastewater samples
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Chemicals released into the environment by anthropogenic activities have been linked to estrogenic or androgenic effects in exposed wildlife, and there is a need to develop and validate rapid and cost-effective methods to quantify the total estrogenic and androgenic activity of environmental water samples. In this study, estrogen receptors (ER) were isolated from sheep (Ovis aries) uteri and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) livers and androgen receptors (AR) were isolated from rainbow trout brains. The isolated receptors were used in competitive receptor binding assays to test the affinity of known estrogenic and androgenic chemicals for the receptor binding site, and results were compared with literature values for the rat uterine ER binding assay and the E-Screen. The relative binding affinities of the tested compounds to ER from different species were similar, and binding to the ER was a more responsive endpoint than the cellular effect measured in the E-Screen. Using the sheep ER binding assay in combination with solid-phase extraction, the estrogenic activity in a raw sewage sample from a municipal treatment plant in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) was measured at 51-73 ng/L estradiol equivalents (EEq).
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C