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Endocrine disruptors in marine organisms: Approaches and perspectives

AutorPorte Visa, Cinta; Janer, Gemma; Lorusso, L. C.; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Cajaraville, Miren P.; Fossi, Cristina; Canesi, L.
Palabras claveEndocrine disruptors
Marine invertebrates
Top predators
Steroid metabolism
Cell signalling
Fecha de publicación22-mar-2006
CitaciónComparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C: Toxicology an Pharmacology 143(3): 306-315 (2006)
ResumenOrganic pollutants exhibiting endocrine disrupting activity (Endocrine Disruptors—EDs) are prevalent over a wide range in the aquatic ecosystems; most EDs are resistant to environmental degradation and are considered ubiquitous contaminants. The actual potency of EDs is low compared to that of natural hormones, but environmental concentrations may still be sufficiently high to produce detrimental biological effects. Most information on the biological effects and mechanisms of action of EDs has been focused on vertebrates. Here we summarize recent progress in studies on selected aspects of endocrine disruption in marine organisms that are still poorly understood and that certainly deserve further research in the near future. This review, divided in four sections, focuses mainly on invertebrates (effects of EDs and mechanisms of action) and presents data on top predators (large pelagic fish and cetaceans), a group of vertebrates that are particularly at risk due to their position in the food chain. The first section deals with basic pathways of steroid biosynthesis and metabolism as a target for endocrine disruption in invertebrates. In the second section, data on the effects and alternative mechanisms of action of estrogenic compounds in mussel immunocytes are presented, addressing to the importance of investigating full range responses to estrogenic chemicals in ecologically relevant invertebrate species. In the third section we review the potential use of vitellogenin (Vtg)-like proteins as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in marine bivalve molluscs, used worldwide as sentinels in marine biomonitoring programmes. Finally, we summarize the results of a recent survey on ED accumulation and effects on marine fish and mammals, utilizing both classical biomarkers of endocrine disruption in vertebrates and non-lethal techniques, such as non-destructive biomarkers, indicating the toxicological risk for top predator species in the Mediterranean. Overall, the reviewed data underline the potential to identify specific types of responses to specific groups of chemicals such as EDs in order to develop suitable biomarkers that could be useful as diagnostic tools for endocrine disruption in marine invertebrates and vertebrates.
Descripción10 pages, 2 tables, 3 figures.-- Printed version published Jul 2006.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2006.03.004
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