The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 45, 3, 311-316 (2020)
Avian eggshell thinning caused by transovarian exposure to o,p'-DDT: changes in histology and calcium-binding protein production in the oviduct uterus
Ryo Kamata, Fujio Shiraishi and Kazuichi Nakamura
Reproductive disorders in birds are the most characteristic effects of DDT contamination of wildlife. Experimental exposure of avian eggs to the estrogenic substance o,p'-DDT causes abnormal development of the reproductive tract (shortening of the left oviduct and aberrant development of the right oviduct) and eggshell thinning in mature birds, but it is still not known how eggshell thinning occurs in the abnormal oviduct. To fill this information gap, we examined the histology of the uterine part of the oviduct in Japanese quail treated in ovo with o,p'-DDT or a synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES), and we performed immunohistochemical staining for the calcium-binding proteins CALB1, SPP1, and TRPV6. Both o,p'-DDT-treated and DES-treated quail had few, and scattered, gland cells in the left uterus, unlike vehicle controls, in which gland cells tightly occupied the lamina propria. The aberrantly developed right uterus retained all the components of the normal left uterus, but in immature form. Immunostaining for CALB1, SPP1, and TRPV6 was greatly reduced by both o,p'-DDT and DES; SPP1 and TRPV6 immunostaining patterns, in particular, differed distinctly from those in the controls. These findings suggest that CALB1, SPP1, and TRPV6 are molecular factors, decreased production of which is responsible for eggshell thinning. Our findings also could contribute to understanding of the eggshell formation mechanism in birds.