PT07 Chemical and Biological Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
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8:00 AM - Tuesday

(PT103) Considerations in designing a screening program relevant to endocrine disruption in invertebrates.

Meiller, J1, Touart, L1, 1 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA

ABSTRACT- Invertebrates constitute greater than 95% of animal species and are key components in all ecosystems. Hormones control and regulate biochemical, physiological and behavioral functions in all organisms, including invertebrates. Many anthropogenic and natural substances can affect hormone systems which can result in changes to the reproductive, immune and nervous systems. Endocrine disruption can result in permanent modifications, including disturbed sex differentiation with feminized or masculinized sex organs, changed sexual behavior and sex ratios, developmental and growth disturbances, and altered immune function. An Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program is being developed to evaluate possible disruption to estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways in vertebrates, but invertebrate relevant hormone pathways are largely ignored. A few assays using various species of invertebrates have been developed to assess endocrine disruption effects following exposure to certain chemicals. This paper investigates relevant and important components to consider when designing a screening program appropriate for invertebrate taxa and their endocrine systems. The project includes suggestions for the development of such a program including choosing appropriate species, assays and exposure assessments. Species should be selected that are representative of major invertebrate taxa groups including annelids, molluscs, arthropods, and echinoderms. A screening program with selected invertebrates is important in the assessment of ecological level effects from endocrine disrupting chemicals. The endocrine disrupting effects at an initial tier should be relevant and substantial but need not be specific to a chemical or mode of action. The second level or testing tier should be more specific in providing definitive information about endocrine disrupting chemicals for invertebrates. The considerations presented in this paper can be taken into account in the development of a screening program suitable for evaluating endocrine disruption in invertebrates.

Key words: invertebrate, endocrine disruption, screening, testing

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