Effects of Xenohormones on Crustaceans

  • Kusk, Kresten Ole (Project Manager)
  • Bergstrøm, Jane Mette (Project Participant)
  • Halling-Sørensen, Bent (Project Participant)

Project Details


The aim of the project is to develop a fast and easy method to identify chemicals, which act as hormones or as hormone disrupters in humans and wild life. The ecologically important copepod Acartia tonsa is used as a test organism and different chemicals suspected to interfere with hormone systems are used as positive controls.
The increasing incidence of some cancer types, damage to reproductive systems and developmental problems of this system of humans and wildlife has caused concern about some industrial compounds used in high quantities, which can mimic the natural hormones and acts as such or in other ways interfere with the functions of the natural hormones.
Crustaceans posses some of the same hormones as many other animal groups - oestrogen, testerone and progesterone - among others have been identified, and it seems likely that the hormones act in much the same way in Crustaceans as in mammals. In this project is used the small (1 mm) copepod, Acartia tonsa, as a test animal. It is a very common planktonic organism in European and American coastal waters and as such of great ecological importance. It¿s easily cultured and handled in the laboratory.
Suspected oestrogens such as alkylphenoles, alkylphenole ethoxylates, bisphenol A and plastic softeners has been investigated together with the positive controls (oestrogen, testosterone) and some negative controls to find parameters which will show or at least indicate if the compounds act as hormones.
Life cycle tests with Acartia is performed, and focus is directed against different parts of the lifecycle.
Effective start/end date01/10/199631/12/1999


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