Thyroid-gonadal hormonal interplay in zebrafish exposed to sodium perchlorate: Implications for reproductive health

Jangjae Lee, June Woo Park, Hugh I. Kim, Chang Beom Park, Sung Hee Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Perchlorate, a widespread environmental contaminant originating from various industrial applications, agricultural practices, and natural sources, poses potential risks to ecosystems and human health. While previous studies have highlighted its influence on the thyroid endocrine system and its impact on gonadal maturation, reproduction, and sex hormone synthesis, the specific interplay between thyroid and steroid hormones, in this context, remains largely unexplored. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the adverse effects and underlying mechanisms triggered by exposure to sodium perchlorate (SP) on reproductive endocrine activity in zebrafish. For 21 d, the fish were exposed to test SP concentrations (0, 3, 30, 300 mg/L), which were determined based on the exposure concentrations that induced various toxic effects in the fish, considering naturally occurring concentrations. Exposure to SP, except at 3 mg/L in males, significantly decreased the production of thyroid hormone (TH) in both female and male zebrafish. Moreover, gonadal steroid levels were markedly reduced in both sexes. The expression of hepatic vitellogenin (VTG) mRNA in female zebrafish was significantly decreased, whereas aromatase activity in male zebrafish was significantly elevated in the SP exposure groups. The reduced levels of THs and gonadal steroid hormones were strongly correlated. Abnormal responses to SP exposure led to reduced reproductive success in the 300 mg/L SP exposure group. These findings indicate that prolonged and continuous exposure to a specific concentration of SP may lead to long-term reproductive problems in zebrafish, primarily through hormonal imbalances and suppression of hepatic VTG mRNA expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140662
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Gonadal steroids
  • Reproductive success
  • SP
  • Thyroid hormones
  • VTG mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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