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.

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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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