Environmental pollutants with hormonal activity including bisphenol, diallyl phtalate and tetrabromodiphenyl ether, have the potential to alter gonadal development and reproduction in aquatic wildlife. Little is known about the biological impact of environmentally relevant concentrations in mussels. To investigate some aspects of their potential estrogenic action, mussels were continuously exposed during 3 weeks. Gonadal development and vitellogenin like protein levels were examined. Bisphenol (50 microg/l) induced the expression of phospho-proteins in females and spawning in both sexes. Diallyl phthalate and tetrabromodiphenyl ether decreased phospho-protein levels in both sexes and induced spawning in males. Moreover, severe damaging effects on ovarian follicles and ovocytes were observed in both bisphenol A- and tetrabromodiphenyl ether-exposed female mussels.
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