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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Gonad development and vitellogenin production in zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to ethinylestradiol and methyltestosterone

Orn S, Holbech H, Madsen TH, Norrgren L, Petersen GI


In a partial life-cycle test, the impact of 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and 17alpha-methyltestosterone (MT) on juvenile zebrafish was evaluated by use of vitellogenin measurements and gonadal development. Exposure to EE2 (1-25 ng/l) resulted in a dose-dependent increase in vitellogenin production starting at 2 ng/l. Significant changes in sex ratios in female direction were detected at I ng/l, with complete sex reversal taking place after exposure to 2 ng/l. No intersex fish were observed after exposure to EE2. Exposure to MT resulted in decreased vitellogenin concentrations. Complete sex reversal was detected in all MT concentrations used (26-1000 ng/l). A large proportion of intersex fish was observed after exposure to 1000 ng MT/l. The period of gonadal sex reversal in non-exposed zebrafish was also studied. The main morphological features of the transformation of ovaries into testis were observed 4-5 weeks after hatching. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Danio rerio; Partial life-cycle test; Endocrine disruptor; Vitellogenin; Sex ratio

Published in

Aquatic Toxicology
2003, Volume: 65, number: 4, pages: 397-411