Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extracts Of Catfish Caught In Polluted Waters Cause Breast Cancer Cells To Multiply

Date:
November 9, 2007
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of fish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a new study. The study, which tested extracts from fish caught in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers near Pittsburgh, suggests that fish contain substances that mimic the actions of estrogen, the female hormone, and that chemicals that mimic estrogen may be making their way into the region's waterways.

Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of channel catfish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.
Credit: iStockphoto/Matt Matthews

Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of channel catfish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Related Articles


The study, which tested extracts from channel catfish caught in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers near Pittsburgh, suggests that the fish, caught in areas of dense sewer overflows, contain substances that mimic the actions of estrogen, the female hormone. Since fish are sentinels of water quality, as the canary in the coal mine is a sentinel of air pollution, and can concentrate fat soluble chemicals from their habitats within their bodies, these results suggest that pharmaceutical estrogens and xeno-estrogenic chemicals, those that mimic estrogens in the body, may be making their way into the region's waterways.

"We believe there are vast quantities of pharmaceutical and xeno-estrogenic waste in outflows from sewage treatment plants and from sewer overflows, and that these chemicals end up concentrated and magnified in channel catfish from contaminated areas," said Conrad D. Volz, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., principal investigator, department of environmental and occupational health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Sewer overflows result from inadequate sewer infrastructure, which releases raw, untreated sewage directly into area rivers during wet weather, according to Dr. Volz. "In Pittsburgh alone, 16 billion gallons of raw, untreated sewage are deposited into area rivers every year with major implications for public health."

In the study, Dr. Volz and colleagues exposed extracts of catfish to estrogen-responsive and estrogen non-responsive human breast cancer cells. They found that catfish extracts caused the estrogen-responsive breast cancer cells to multiply by binding to and activating estrogen receptors -- the proteins within cells that render the cells sensitive to estrogen -- but had no effect on the estrogen negative cell line. Extracts of fish caught in areas heavily polluted by industrial and municipal wastes resulted in the greatest amount of cell growth. This growth occurred regardless of the sex of the fish.

According to Dr. Volz, the next step in this research is to identify the specific estrogenic chemicals and their sources in the local water and fish. "These findings have significant public health implications, since we drink water from the rivers where the fish were caught. Additionally, the consumption of river-caught fish, especially by semi-subsistence anglers, may increase their risks for endocrine-related health issues and developmental problems," said Dr. Volz.

This research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C. at a special session on "Contaminants in Freshwater Fish: Toxicity, Sources and Risk Communication," on Nov. 7, 2007.

The study was funded by grants from the Highmark Foundation, the DSF Charitable Trust and the Heinz Endowments. Co-authors of the study include Yan Liu, Christopher Price, Mary Elm, Devra Davis, Ph.D., Maryann Donovan, Ph.D., and Patricia Eagon, Ph.D., all with the University of Pittsburgh.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Extracts Of Catfish Caught In Polluted Waters Cause Breast Cancer Cells To Multiply." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107083910.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2007, November 9). Extracts Of Catfish Caught In Polluted Waters Cause Breast Cancer Cells To Multiply. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107083910.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Extracts Of Catfish Caught In Polluted Waters Cause Breast Cancer Cells To Multiply." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107083910.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins