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Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Sep;144(1):57-66. Epub 2006 Jun 3.

Detection of endocrine disrupters: evaluation of a Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT).

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  • 1Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark. hol@biology.sdu.dk


Managed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a comprehensive work is carried out in numerous laboratories to develop test guidelines for the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals in humans, and various animal species. Development of tests to detect chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties in fish is a part of that work. A Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT) (an extension of the existing OECD TG 210, fish early life stage toxicity test), proposed as an international test guideline for the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals, was evaluated by water exposure of juvenile zebrafish to the three natural estrogens: estrone, 17beta-estradiol, and estriol and the synthetic androgen trenbolone (trenbolone acetate). As endpoints, vitellogenin induction and histological changes including changes in sex ratios were investigated. The sex ratio was significantly altered towards females from 49 ng/l estrone, 54 ng/l 17beta-estradiol and 22 microg/l estriol, respectively. An all male population was observed from exposure to 9.7 ng/l trenbolone and above. Significant vitellogenin induction in whole body homogenate was measured after exposure to 14 ng/l estrone, 54 ng/l 17beta-estradiol and 0.6 mug/l estriol, respectively. Significant vitellogenin reduction was measured after exposure to 193 ng/l trenbolone or higher. The present results provide strong evidence that the FSDT is a sensitive test toward estrogenic and especially androgenic exposure and the validation of the FSDT as an OECD test guideline should continue.

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