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Horm Behav. 2001 Sep;40(2):248-51.

Developmental effects of estrogenic agents on mice, fish, and frogs: a mini-review.

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  • 1Center for Integrative Bioscience, Okazaki National Research Institutes, 38 Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Laboratory experiments have demonstrated that exposure of rodents to sex hormones during prenatal or early postnatal life can cause permanent and irreversible alterations of the endocrine and reproductive organs, such as ovary, fallopian tube, uterus, cervix, vagina, and mammary gland in females; and testis, epididymis, prostate, and seminal vesicle in males; as well as non reproductive organs including bones and muscle and immune and nervous systems in both sexes. Early development of Xenopus laevis into the tadpole and Fundulus heteroclitus goes through a rapid cell division, gastrulation, neurulation, and organogenesis within 1 week after fertilization. The developing embryo is very fragile and sensitive to estrogenic agents. Thus, these animals can be used as a suitable model for examining the effect of endocrine disruptors (hormonally active agents) on the development of aquatic living beings, which are most likely to be exposed to the compounds.

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