Ecological Effects of Endocrine Disruptors

A number of ecological effects by endocrine disruptors have been observed, mainly as sexual abnormality in wildlife. Table 2 gives an overview of the most important cases of ecological effects by endocrine disruptors.

Table 1 Overview of the most important endocrine disruptors

Table 2 Overview of ecological effects of endocrine disruptors


Acting on as ligands (either


Description of effect


agonist or antagonist)

American alligator

Males show shortened penis

Coplanar PCB

Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-agonist


Males show quasi-female


Thyroid hormone receptor - antagonist

Medaka fish (small

Males show quasi-female

coplanar PCB

herbivore fish)


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor - agonist

Mosquitofish (small

Females show quasi-male


Aryl hydrocarbon receptor - agonist

carnivore fish)


Estrogen receptor - agonist

Daphnia Magna

Male offspring


Arachidonic acid hormone receptor -

Sea snails

Females show quasi-male

agonist or antagonist?


Males show quasi-female


P450 aromatase inhibitor?

Sea cormorant

Malformation of bill


Juvenile hormone receptor-agonist


pyriproxyfen, etc.)

form a variety of DNA adducts. The DNA injury can be

determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spec-

trometry (LC/MS/MS) analytical instruments.

Figure 1 Male (left) and female (right) Daphnia magna (Crustacea, Cladocera) aged c. 24 h. Males can be distinguished from females by the length and morphology of the first antennae as shown in the circles. Juvenile hormones (ecdysterone) and their analogs endocrine disrupting chemicals (methylfarnesoate, methoprene, pyriproxyfen, and fenoxycarb) may easily change sex of D. magna. Adapted from Tatarazako N and Oda S (2007) The water flea Daphnia magna (Crustacea, Cladocera) as a test species for screening and evaluation of chemicals with endocrine disrupting effects on crustaceans. Ecotoxicology 16: 197-203.

trometry (LC/MS/MS) analytical instruments.

See also: Endocrine Disruptors: effect in Wildlife and Laboratory Animals.

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