A parameter for detecting estrogenic exposure in the copepod Acartia tonsa

Henrik Rasmus Andersen, Bent Halling-Sørensen, Kresten Ole Kusk

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Literature on the basic endocrinology of crustaceans, such as crab, lobster and shrimp, suggest that estrogens, e.g., 17 beta-estradiol, are stimulating hormones in female sexual maturation and egg production in crustaceans. The copepod Acartia tonsa, has continuous egg production. A profile of the egg production per time unit through the maturation of this species may be used as an expression of the degree of maturation of the female internal reproductive organs. Comparison of control profiles with profiles of estrogen-exposed copepods may thus demonstrate that estrogen exposure results in a steeper maturation profile. The proposed endpoint was identified by exposing copepods to the natural estrogen 17 beta-estradiol and the antropogenic estrogen bisphenol A. Both compounds produced significant effects at 23 and 20 mu g/L respectively. Since bisphenol A is traditionally believed to be less estrogenic than 17 beta-estradiol, the nonestrogen 2,3-dichlorophenole was tested at 13.6 mu g/L (molar concentration equal to 23 mu g/L 17 beta-estradiol) to test if the response is a general nonestrogenic toxic stress effect. The 2,3-dichlorophenole produced no effect. (C) 1999 Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)56-61
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Hormonal disrupter
  • Acartia tonsa
  • Estrogen effect
  • Xeno-estrogen
  • Bisphenol A


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