Patterns of heritability of decreased EROD activity and resistance to PCB 126-induced teratogenesis in laboratory-reared offspring of killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a creosote-contaminated site in the Elizabeth River, VA, USA

Mar Environ Res. Sep-Dec 2002;54(3-5):621-6. doi: 10.1016/s0141-1136(02)00170-8.


Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a highly contaminated site on the Elizabeth River are resistant to the acute toxicity and the cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A)-inducing activity of both the sediments from the site and chemically pure polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These effects are highly heritable for one generation, but heritable to a lesser degree by subsequent generations, in clean conditions in the laboratory. We show that offspring of this population of Elizabeth River killifish are also resistant to the teratogenicity and P4501A-inducing activity of PCB congener 126, a prototypical coplanar halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon (HAH). Furthermore, the pattern of greater resistance to acute toxicity and P4501A-inducing activity in the first generation and less in subsequent generations is also observed upon exposure to PCB-126.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance / genetics*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Estrogen Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fundulidae / genetics*
  • Fundulidae / physiology
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Male
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / adverse effects*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / adverse effects
  • Water Pollutants / adverse effects


  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Water Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • 3,4,5,3',4'-pentachlorobiphenyl