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Identification of endocrine-disrupting effects in aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates: report from the European IDEA project
Segner, H.; Carroll, K.; Fenske, M.; Janssen, C.R.; Maack, G.; Pascoe, D.; Schafers, C.; Vandenbergh, G.F.; Watts, M.; Wenzel, A. (2003). Identification of endocrine-disrupting effects in aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates: report from the European IDEA project. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 54(3): 302-314
In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. Academic Press/Elsevier: Amsterdam, Netherlands etc.. ISSN 0147-6513, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Segner, H.
  • Carroll, K.
  • Fenske, M.
  • Janssen, C.R., more
  • Maack, G.
  • Pascoe, D.
  • Schafers, C.
  • Vandenbergh, G.F.
  • Watts, M.
  • Wenzel, A.

    The EU-funded project IDEA aimed to evaluate (a) what parameters and endpoints allow the detection of endocrine-mediated developmental and reproductive effects of (xeno)estrogens in life cycle- and life stage-specific toxicity tests with the zebrafish Danio rerio, a small laboratory fish used in many ecotoxicity test guidelines, and (b) whether substances that act as estrogens in vertebrates may also adversely affect the development, differentiation, and reproduction of aquatic invertebrates. The invertebrate species investigated included Hydra vulgaris, Gammarus pulex, Chironomus riparius, Hyalella azteca, and Lymnaea stagnalis. The animals were exposed to the model estrogenic chemicals ethynylestradiol (EE2), bisphenol A (BPA), and octylphenol (OP), which exert their endocrine activity in vertebrates through the estrogen receptor. As endpoints, developmental and reproductive parameters at the organism level as well as molecular and cellular parameters were measured. Life cycle exposure of zebrafish to (xeno)estrogens induced a specific, partly irreversible response pattern, consisting mainly of (a) induction of vitellogenin (VTG), (b) alterations of gonad differentiation, (c) delay of first spawning, and (d) reduced fertilization success. The effects of EE2 on zebrafish were expressed at environmentally realistic concentrations, while BPA and OP became effective at concentrations higher than those usually found in the environment. The vitellogenic response was equally sensitive as the reproductive parameters in the case of EE2, but VTG was more sensitive in the case of BPA. Partial life cycle exposure of zebrafish had lasting effects on fish development and reproduction only when the fish were exposed during the stage of juvenile bisexual gonad differentiation. In (partial) life cycle and multigeneration studies with invertebrates, (xeno)estrogenic impact was assessed by a range of developmental and reproductive parameters including hatching, growth, moulting, mating behavior, and egg number. Several parameters were found to be responsive to (xeno)estrogens; however, most effects were induced only at higher, probably nonphysiological concentrations. Low-dose effects were observed in full life cycle experiments, particularly in the second generation. It remains to be established whether the estrogen-induced alterations in the invertebrate species indeed do result from disturbances of the endocrine system. The findings of the present research project support the development of appropriate testing methodologies for substances with estrogenic activity.

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