The transgenerational consequences of environmental contaminant exposures of aquatic vertebrates have the potential for broad ecological impacts, yet are largely uninvestigated. Bisphenol A (BPA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) are two ubiquitous estrogenic chemicals present in aquatic environments throughout the United States and many other countries. Aquatic organisms, including fish, are exposed to varying concentrations of these chemicals at various stages of their life history. Here, we tested the ability of embryonic exposure to BPA or EE2 to cause adverse health outcomes at later life stages and transgenerational abnormalities in medaka fish. Exposures of F0 medaka to either BPA (100 μg/L) or EE2 (0.05 μg/L) during the first 7 days of embryonic development, when germ cells are differentiating, did not cause any apparent phenotypic abnormalities in F0 or F1 generations, but led to a significant reduction in the fertilization rate in offspring two generations later (F2) as well as a reduction of embryo survival in offspring three generations later (F3). Our present observations suggest that BPA or EE2 exposure during development induces transgenerational phenotypes of reproductive impairment and compromised embryonic survival in fish of subsequent generations. These adverse outcomes may have negative impacts on populations of fish inhabiting contaminated aquatic environments.
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