Interference of o,p'DDD with interrenal function and cortisol metabolism in Sarotherodon aureus (Steindachner)

Z. Ilan*, Z. Yaron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to investigate possible effects of organochlorine residues on cortisol balance in a freshwater fish. The combined stress of netting, handling and blood sampling in Sarotherodon aureus normally results in a twofold increase of circulating cortisol, within 30–60 min. Fish treated with o,p'DDD (50 mg kg−1) had higher resting level of cortisol than before treatment (155.8±12.7 v. 86.9± 11.2 ngmh−1; n=16). No further increase in cortisol level occurred in these fish after exposure to stress; this inability to respond was maintained for more than 120 days. A recovery of the response to ACTH by superfused interrenal tissue from the treated fish was observed 255 days after treatment. Successive blood sampling of o,p'DDD‐treated fish, injected intracardially with labelled cortisol, have shown that the half‐life of the steroid in the circulation is prolonged by 370% compared with controls. The hepatic metabolism of cortisol was studied by incubating liver slices with the labelled hormone. Hepatic tissue from o,p'DDD‐treated fish metabolized cortisol slower than livers from controls. The high resting level of cortisol in plasma of fish treated with o,p'DDD may be attributed to the retarded metabolism of the steroid by the liver. The lack of augmented cortisol levels in response to stress is attributed to the interference of the organochlorine with the response of the interrenal tissue to the stress‐induced surge of endogenous ACTH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-669
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1983


Dive into the research topics of 'Interference of o,p'DDD with interrenal function and cortisol metabolism in Sarotherodon aureus (Steindachner)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this