Virginia Institute of Marine Science
A high prevalence of exocrine pancreatic neoplasms occurred in mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, from a creosote-contaminated site in the Elizabeth River, Virginia. A total of 20 neoplasms were found in a group of about 1,300 fish obtained at this site over a 2-yr period. Of 240 fish collected during October 1991, 3.3% had pancreatic neoplasms. Adjusted total lesion prevalence for large adult fish (Size Class III: total length = 75–85 mm; Size Class IV: total length > 85 mm) was 6.7%. Pancreatic neoplasms were not observed in 234 fish collected at this site during May 1991, nor were they found in 420 fish obtained during fall 1991 from 1 uncontaminated and 6 moderately contaminated localities. Lesions involved both mesenteric and intrahepatic exocrine pancreas and ranged from well-differentiated acinar cell adenomas to poorly differentiated acinar cell carcinomas. One fish had an atypical acinar cell focus. All specimens with pancreatic neoplasms also had hepatocellular lesions. This epizootic of exocrine pancreatic neoplasia is the first to be reported in a wild fish population. Based on chemical characterization of the site and limited experimental data on chemically induced pancreatic carcinogenesis in other small fish species, the neoplasms were probably caused by exposure of the mummichog to chemical carcinogens in their environment.
Exocrine pancreas, neoplasia, fish, pollution
Fournie, John W. and Vogelbein, Wolfgang K., Exocrine Pancreatic Neoplasms in the Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a Creosote-Contaminated Site (1994). Toxicological Pathology, 22(3), 237-247.