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Estrogen Linked To Lowered Immunity In Fish

Could mermaids have anything to do with this?

Exposure to estrogen reduces production of immune-related proteins in fish. This suggests that certain compounds, known as endocrine disruptors, may make fish more susceptible to disease.

The research may provide new clues for why intersex fish, fish kills and fish lesions often occur together in the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. The tests were conducted in a lab by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The study, led by USGS genomics researcher Dr. Laura Robertson, revealed that largemouth bass injected with estrogen produced lowered levels of hepcidin, an important iron-regulating hormone in mammals that is also found in fish and amphibians. This is the first published study demonstrating control of hepcidin by estrogen in any animal.

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