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Research article2012Peer reviewed

Comparison of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) as test species in the Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT)

Holbech, Henrik; Kinnberg, Karin L.; Brande-Lavridsen, Nanna; Bjerregaard, Poul; Petersen, Gitte I; Norrgren, Leif; Örn, Stefan; Braunbeck, Thomas; Baumann, Lisa; Bomke, Christiane; Dorgerloh, Michael; Bruns, Eric; Ruehl-Fehlert, Christine; Green, John W.; Springer, Timothy A.; Gourmelon, Anne


Results are presented from a validation (with 5 laboratories) of the Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT) developed to detect endocrine disrupters (EDs) and included in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) working program. The aromatase-inhibiting fungicide prochloraz was tested in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). The fish were exposed during sexual differentiation and development from 0 to 60 days post hatch (dph). After exposure, the vitellogenin (VTG) concentrations were quantified in head/tail homogenate and the sex ratio was determined (defined as female, male, intersex or undifferentiated). NOEC/LOEC and ECx designs were compared to optimize the test approach. Results show that both species are highly sensitive to prochloraz during sexual development. They respond by skewing of the sex ratio towards male phenotype and by a VTG decline in females. The NOEC/LOEC approach is preferred because sex ratio is difficult to analyze with a regression model. The mean NOEC/LOEC for prochloraz on the sex ratio was 43.3/134 mu g/L and 101/293 mu g/L for zebrafish and fathead minnow, respectively. The mean NOEC/LOEC on the decline in female VTG concentration was 65/110 mu g/L and similar to 30/68 mu g/L respectively. In conclusion, zebrafish and fathead minnow are suitable species in the FSDT and their sexual differentiation is equally labile to EDs. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Endocrine disrupters; Zebrafish; Fathead minnow; Sexual differentiation; Prochloraz; Aromatase inhibitor; Sex ratio; Vitellogenin

Published in

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
2012, Volume: 155, number: 2, pages: 407-415