Environmental pollutants and alterations in the reproductive system in wild male mink (Neovison vison) from Sweden

The wild American mink, a semi-aquatic top predator, is exposed to high levels of environmental pollutants that may affect its reproductive system. In this study, the reproductive organs from 101 wild male mink collected in Sweden were examined during necropsy. Potential associations between various variables of the reproductive system and fat concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE) and other organochlorine pesticides and liver concentrations of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) were investigated using multiple regression models. The anogenital distance was negatively associated (p<0.05) with concentration of p,p'-DDE and some PFAAs (perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) and ?PFAA). Penis length was positively associated with PCB 28, PCB 47/48, PCB 52 and PCB 110 (p<0.05), and some of these congeners were also associated with baculum length and penis weight. In contrast, penile length tended (p<0.1) to be shorter in mink with high concentrations of p,p'-DDE. These data may help to improve the understanding of how environmental pollution affects male reproduction in both wildlife and humans. Overall, the study suggests endocrine disrupting effects in wild mink and identifies potentially important pollutants in the complex mixture of contaminants in the environment. In addition, the results suggest that the variables of the reproductive system of male mink used in this study are good candidates for use as indicators of environmental pollution affecting the mammalian reproductive system. Authors: Persson S, Magnusson U. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2014 Aug 4;120C:237-245. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.07.009. [Epub ahead of print] ;