, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 139–150 | Cite as

Endocrine regulation of the reproduction in crustaceans: Identification of potential targets for toxicants and environmental contaminants

  • Edita Mazurová
  • Klára Hilscherová
  • Rita Triebskorn
  • Heinz-R. Köhler
  • Blahoslav Maršálek
  • Luděk Bláha


Progress in ecotoxicological research documents that crustaceans are highly vulnerable to diverse chemicals and toxicants in the environment. In particular, pollutants affecting endocrine homeostasis in crustaceans (i.e., endocrine disruptors) are intensively studied, and serious reproductive disorders have been documented. In this review, current knowledge about the endocrine regulation of the crustacean reproduction is put together with the published ecotoxicological data with an attempt to summarize the potential of xenobiotics to affect crustacean reproduction. Following gaps and trends were identified: (1) Studies are required in the field of neurohormone (serotonin and dopamine) regulation of the reproduction and possible modulations by environmental toxicants such as antidepressant drugs. (2) Molting-related parameters (regulated by ecdysteroid hormones) are closely coordinated with the development and reproduction cycles in crustaceans (cross-links with methyl farnesoate signalling), and their susceptibility to toxicants should be studied. (3) Other biochemical targets for xenobiotics were recently discovered in crustaceans and these should be explored by further ecotoxicological studies (e.g., new information about ecdysteroid receptor molecular biology). (4) Some sex steroid hormones known from vertebrates (testosterone, progesterone) have been reported in crustaceans but knowledge about their targets (crustacean steroid receptors) and signalling is still limited. (5) Determination of the sex in developing juveniles (affecting the sex ratio in population) is a sensitive parameter to various xenobiotics (including endocrine disruptors) but its modulation by general environmental stress and non-specific toxicity should be further studied.

Key words

crustaceans reproduction endocrine disruption sex determination contaminant ecotoxicology 


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© Versita 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edita Mazurová
    • 1
  • Klára Hilscherová
    • 1
    • 4
  • Rita Triebskorn
    • 2
    • 3
  • Heinz-R. Köhler
    • 2
  • Blahoslav Maršálek
    • 1
    • 4
  • Luděk Bláha
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Centre for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology (RECETOX)Masaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Animal Physiological Ecology DepartmentEberhard-Karls UniversityTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Steinbeis-Transferzentrum für Ökotoxikologie und ÖkophysiologieRottenburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute of BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic

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