Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 65–77 | Cite as

Effects of exposure to ED contaminants (TPT-Cl and Fenarimol) on crinoid echinoderms: comparative analysis of regenerative development and correlated steroid levels

  • Alice Barbaglio
  • Daniela Mozzi
  • Michela Sugni
  • Paolo Tremolada
  • Francesco Bonasoro
  • Ramon Lavado
  • Cinta Porte
  • M. Daniela Candia CarnevaliEmail author
Research Article


Regenerative phenomena reproduce developmental processes in adult organisms and are regulated by neuro-endocrine mechanisms. They can therefore provide sensitive tests for monitoring the effects of exposure to endocrine disrupter contaminants (EDs) which can be bioaccumulated by the organisms causing dysfunctions in steroid hormone metabolism and activities and affecting reproduction and development. Echinoderms are prime candidates for this new ecotoxicological approach, since (1) they offer unique models to study physiological regenerative processes and (2) in echinoderms vertebrate-type steroids can be synthesized and used as terminal hormones along the neuro-endocrine cascades regulating reproductive, growth and developmental processes. We are currently exploring the effects on the regenerative potential of echinoderms of different classes of compounds that are well known to have ED activity. The present paper focuses on the possible effects of well-known compounds with suspected androgenic activity such as TPT-Cl (Triphenyltin-chloride) and Fenarimol [(±)-2,4-dichloro-α-(pyrimidin-5-yl) benzhydryl alcohol]. The selected test-species is the crinoid Antedon mediterranea, a tractable and sensitive benthic filter-feeding species which represents a valuable experimental model for investigation on the regenerative process from the macroscopic to the molecular level. The present investigation employs an integrated approach which combines exposure experiments and biological analysis utilizing microscopy, immunocytochemistry and biochemistry. The experiments were carried out on experimentally induced arm regenerations in semistatic controlled conditions with exposure concentrations comparable to those of moderately polluted coastal zones. The bulk of results obtained so far provide indications of significant sublethal effects from exposure to TPT-Cl and Fenarimol and mechanisms of toxicity related to developmental physiology, which are associated with variations in steroid levels in the animal tissues. The results indicate that these two substances (1) affect growth and development by interfering with the same basic cellular mechanisms of regeneration, such as cell proliferation, migration and differentiation/dedifferentiation, which are possibly controlled by steroid hormones; and (2) can induce a number of significant modifications in the timing, modalities and pattern of arm regeneration, which may involve the activation of cell mechanisms related to steroid synthesis/metabolism.


PCBs Regenerative Stage Organotin Compound Exposed Sample Coelomic Epithelium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The present work has received financial support from the EU (COMPRENDO Project n° EVK1-CT-2002-00129). The authors are particularly grateful to Dr Ulrike Shulte-Oehlmann for her valuable coordinating activity and to all the partners of the COMPRENDO project for their direct or indirect support and advice. Special thanks are addressed to Drs Simona Ceriani and Angelita Doria for their valuable help and technical assistance. All the experiments carried out for the research work are in accord with the current laws of our country. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable suggestions and careful revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Barbaglio
    • 1
  • Daniela Mozzi
    • 1
  • Michela Sugni
    • 1
  • Paolo Tremolada
    • 1
  • Francesco Bonasoro
    • 1
  • Ramon Lavado
    • 2
  • Cinta Porte
    • 2
  • M. Daniela Candia Carnevali
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Environmental Chemistry DepartmentIIQAB-CSICBarcelonaSpain

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