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Effects of exposure to ED contaminants (TPT-Cl and Fenarimol) on crinoid echinoderms: comparative analysis of regenerative development and correlated steroid levels
Barbaglio, A.; Mozzi, D.; Sugni, M.; Tremolada, P.; Bonasoro, F.; Lavado, R.; Porte, C.; Carnevali, M. Daniela (2006). Effects of exposure to ED contaminants (TPT-Cl and Fenarimol) on crinoid echinoderms: comparative analysis of regenerative development and correlated steroid levels. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 149: 65-77.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Barbaglio, A.
  • Mozzi, D.
  • Sugni, M.
  • Tremolada, P.
  • Bonasoro, F.
  • Lavado, R.
  • Porte, C.
  • Carnevali, M. Daniela

    Regenerative phenomena reproduce developmental processes in adult organisms and are regulated by neuro-endocrine mechanisms. They can therefore provide sensitive tests for monitoring the effects of exposure to endocrine disrupter contaminants (EDs) which can be bioaccumulated by the organisms causing dysfunctions in steroid hormone metabolism and activities and affecting reproduction and development. Echinoderms are prime candidates for this new ecotoxicological approach, since (1) they offer unique models to study physiological regenerative processes and (2) in echinoderms vertebrate-type steroids can be synthesized and used as terminal hormones along the neuro-endocrine cascades regulating reproductive, growth and developmental processes. We are currently exploring the effects on the regenerative potential of echinoderms of different classes of compounds that are well known to have ED activity. The present paper focuses on the possible effects of well-known compounds with suspected androgenic activity such as TPT-Cl (Triphenyltin-chloride) and Fenarimol [(±)-2,4-dichloro-a-(pyrimidin-5-yl) benzhydryl alcohol]. The selected test-species is the crinoid Antedon mediterranea, a tractable and sensitive benthic filter-feeding species which represents a valuable experimental model for investigation on the regenerative process from the macroscopic to the molecular level. The present investigation employs an integrated approach which combines exposure experiments and biological analysis utilizing microscopy, immunocytochemistry and biochemistry. The experiments were carried out on experimentally induced arm regenerations in semistatic controlled conditions with exposure concentrations comparable to those of moderately polluted coastal zones. The bulk of results obtained so far provide indications of significant sublethal effects from exposure to TPT-Cl and Fenarimol and mechanisms of toxicity related to developmental physiology, which are associated with variations in steroid levels in the animal tissues. The results indicate that these two substances (1) affect growth and development by interfering with the same basic cellular mechanisms of regeneration, such as cell proliferation, migration and differentiation/dedifferentiation, which are possibly controlled by steroid hormones; and (2) can induce a number of significant modifications in the timing, modalities and pattern of arm regeneration, which may involve the activation of cell mechanisms related to steroid synthesis/metabolism.

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