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Chemosphere. 2017 Jun;176:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.02.094. Epub 2017 Feb 20.

Effects of 17β-estradiol and 17α-ethinylestradiol on the embryonic development of the clearhead icefish (Protosalanx hyalocranius).

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Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shanghai, 200233, China. Electronic address:
Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shanghai, 200233, China.
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai, 201620, China.
Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment, Ministry of Education, College of Environmental Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China. Electronic address:
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China.


Estrogenic effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on animals have been widely reported. The high sensitivity of fish in the early-life stages to xenobiotics can be exploited to evaluate the developmental effects of environmentally relevant levels of E2 and EE2. In this work, clearhead icefish (Protosalanx hyalocranius) embryos (blastula stage) were exposed to E2 or EE2 at concentrations between 0.05 ng/L and 1 mg/L. The toxicity endpoints of mortality, teratogenesis, and hatching retardation were evaluated. The results showed that continuous exposure of the fish embryos/larvae to higher concentrations of E2 and EE2 dramatically increased mortality after 17 days, when the hatching period started. An E2 concentration of 8 μg/L (day 16) and an EE2 concentration of at 0.2 mg/L (day 18) induced maximum teratogenesis rates of 30% and 35%, respectively. Embryos exposed to 0.2 mg E2 or EE2/L had a significantly retarded hatching time compared to the control. Thus, although environmentally relevant concentrations E2 and EE2 are not lethal for P. hyalocranius embryos or larvae, their ability to induce teratogenesis and hatching retardation merits concern.


17α-Ethinylestradiol; 17β-Estradiol; Estrogen; Fish embryo toxicity test; Protosalanx hyalocranius

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