Development and maturation in the nereidid polychaetes Platynereis dumerilii and Nereis succinea exposed to xenoestrogens

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;154(3):196-203. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.05.007. Epub 2011 May 30.


Few studies link biochemical, cellular and whole animal effects of toxic compounds with growth and reproductive output on invertebrate model organisms. Thus, we explore the effects of xenoestrogens on nereid worms. Larvae of Platynereis dumerilii exposed to estradiol (E(2)) ethynylestradiol (EE(2)) and nonyplhenol (NP) observing the effects on growth, primordial germ cell (PGC) proliferation and maturation. In addition, a single exposure study was performed with a 50 days latency period on adult worms of Nereis succinea. Since reduced glutathione (GSH) is required in detoxification of NP and is the precursor of the spawning pheromone nereithione (CSSG) in N. succinea, we analysed how the estrogenic chemical NP affects GSH concentrations. PGC were not affected by exposure to E(2) and EE(2) from 24hpf to 6 days. Chronic exposure of P. dumerilii with NP over the full life cycle did not influence segment proliferation. Mature females that developed, even at high concentrations, were able to spawn and successful fertilization occurred. However, at high NP levels no P. dumerilii males matured. A significant decline of GSH can be seen in N. succinea males upon treatment with NP, but not in females, indicating that females stabilize GSH levels even in stress situations. This study shows some results that link the foundation to causally integrate toxic exposure to xenoestrogens with development, growth and reproductive outputs in nereidid polychaetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Estradiol / toxicity
  • Estrogens / toxicity*
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / toxicity
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / drug effects
  • Glutathione / analogs & derivatives
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Male
  • Phenols / toxicity
  • Polychaeta / drug effects*
  • Polychaeta / growth & development*
  • Polychaeta / metabolism
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Sex Ratio
  • Xenobiotics / toxicity*


  • Estrogens
  • Phenols
  • Xenobiotics
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Estradiol
  • nonylphenol
  • cysteine-glutathione disulfide
  • Glutathione
  • Cysteine