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WIP1AM Endocrine Disruption in Invertebrates: History, Regulation and Future Research
(ZOU-1115-221598) An in vivo screening assay for xenobiotics capable of interfering with crustacean molting.
Zou, E.1, 1 Department of Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, Louisiana, USA
ABSTRACT- Environmental endocrine disruption has recently emerged as a new subdiscipline of environmental toxicology. Much attention has been paid to the disrupted endocrine functions of vertebrates by environmental chemicals. In comparison, disruption of hormonally regulated functions in invertebrates by xenobiotics has not been extensively investigated although these animals make up a vast majority of the known animal species and are also subject to chemical stressors. Crustaceans are one of the larger animal groups. Laboratory exposure studies have shown that several environmental chemicals, including some pesticides and industrial chemicals, are capable of interfering with molting in crustaceans. For regulatory purposes and in view of the fact that molting is an important physiological process tied to metamorphosis, growth and reproduction in crustaceans and that certain chemicals, such as organochlorines, can readily accumulate in crustacean tissues, it is necessary to develop a screening assay for molt-disrupting activities of xenobiotics. Chitinase, a chitinolytic enzyme, is the end product of endocrine cascades of a multi-hormonal system for control of crustacean molting. Wherever a molt-interfering agent adversely impacts the Y-organ-ecdysteroid receptor axis, the effect should be manifested by the activity of chitinase in the epidermis. Using epidermal chitinase activity in the fiddler crab, Uca pugilator, as the end point for molt-interfering effects, an in vivo screen has been developed that can be utilized to identify chemicals capable of disrupting crustacean molting.
Key words: Crustacean, Molting, Endocrine disruption, Xenobiotics
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