Toxicity for Aquatic Organisms

  • Kazuhiko Mochida
  • Kazunori Fujii

The potential effects of so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on fish reproduction have been a growing concern since the early 1990s (Colborn et al. 1993; Jobling et al. 1996). Adverse reproductive health effects, possibly a result of EDCs, have been observed in wild fish populations (Jobling et al. 1996; Hashimoto et al. 2000; Larsson et al. 2000). Although much of the research on EDCs has focused on estrogenic compounds, tributyltin (TBT) is also thought to act as an endocrine disruptor (Matthiessen and Gibbs 1998; McAllister and Kime 2003; Nakanishi et al. 2006). Indeed, masculinization has been induced in the Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) by TBT administration (Shimasaki et al. 2003). TBT exposure has also induced masculinization, as well as irreversible sperm damage, in the zebrafish (Danio rerio), although direct evidence of aromatase inhibition was not shown (McAllister and Kime 2003). Additionally, Shimizu and Kimura (1987) observed that long-term exposure to tributyltin oxide (TBTO) resulted in significant depression of the gonad somatic index in male goby (Chasmicthys dolichognathus). Thus, there is evidence for TBT-induced reproductive toxicity in fish. In view of the need to maintain and protect wild populations of fish, it is essential that scientists clarify the adverse effects of TBT, especially with regard to reproduction.

In this chapter, I would like to focus on the toxicity of TBT on fish reproduction and review progress in this research field. Sublethal effects (e.g., growth inhibition, histological changes) caused by acute and chronic toxicity of TBT and other organotin compounds to several marine fish species have been described elsewhere (see the review by Fent (1996) ) and are not addressed in this chapter.


Danio Rerio Organotin Compound Environ Toxicol Fundulus Heteroclitus Paralichthys Olivaceus 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiko Mochida
    • 1
  • Kazunori Fujii
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Research AgencyNational Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland SeaHatsukaichiJapan

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