Prolonged ELS test with the marine flatfish sole (Solea solea) shows delayed toxic effects of previous exposure to PCB 126

E.M. Foekema, C.M. Deerenberg, A.J. Murk

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of the dioxin-like PCB 126 (3,3¿,4,4¿,5-pentachlorobiphenyl) on the early development of the marine flatfish sole (Solea solea) was tested in a newly developed early life stage (ELS) test that includes the metamorphosis of the symmetric larvae into an asymmetrical flatfish. Early life stages of sole were exposed to a concentration series of PCB 126 in seawater until 4, 8, 10 and 15 days post fertilisation (dpf). Subsequently the development of the larvae was registered under further unexposed conditions. The LC50s at the start of the free-feeding stage (12 dpf) ranged between 39 and 83 ng PCB 126/l depending on exposure duration. After the fish had completed the metamorphosis, the LC50 values ranged between 1.7 and 3.7 ng PCB 126/l for the groups exposed for 4, 8 and 10 dpf, respectively. Thus exposure for only 4 days, covering only the egg stage, was sufficient to cause adverse effects during a critical developmental phase two weeks later. The internal dosages of these larvae, determined by means of an in vitro gene reporter assay as dioxin-equivalent values (TEQ), revealed a LD50 of 1 ng TEQ/g lipid, which is within the same order of magnitude as TEQ levels found in fish from highly polluted areas. This study indicates that ELS fish tests that are terminated shortly after the fish becomes free-feeding, underestimate the toxic potential of compounds with low acute toxicity such as PCBs. Our prolonged ELS with this native marine flatfish suggests that reproductive success of fish populations at contaminated sites can be affected
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • dover soles
  • solea
  • polychlorinated biphenyls
  • marine environment
  • dioxins
  • impurities
  • life cycle
  • larvae
  • ecotoxicology
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • fish stocks
  • polyhalogenated aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • flounder platichthys-flesus
  • dibenzo-p-dioxins
  • in-vitro bioassay
  • polychlorinated-biphenyls
  • dr-calux(r) bioassay
  • equivalency factors
  • sediment extracts
  • life stages
  • fish

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