Environmental concentration of nonylphenol alters the development of urogenital and visceral organs in avian model

Environ Int. 2014 Jan;62:78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.10.006. Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Nonylphenol (NP) is an endocrine disruptor with harmful effects including feminization and carcinogenesis on various organisms. This substance is a degradation product of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO) that is used in several industrial and agricultural processes. In this paper, we examined the assessment of NP exposure on chick embryo development, using a concentration consistent with the environmental concentrations of NP. With this aim, NP (between 0.1 and 50 μg/egg) was injected into the yolk of egg through a small needle hole in the shell. We report the effect of NP on chick reproductive system development although the effect we observed is lower than those observed by exposition to other endocrine disruptors. However, histological analysis highlighted a decrease of intraluminal seminiferous surface area in 64.12% of case (P=0.0086) and an heterogeneous organization of the renal tubules when 10 μg/egg were injected. Moreover, an impairment of liver development with an abnormal bile spillage was observed when higher concentration of NP was injected (50 μg/egg).

Keywords: Chick embryo; Environment; Estrogenic effect; Nonylphenol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds / embryology*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Urogenital System / drug effects*
  • Urogenital System / embryology
  • Viscera / drug effects*
  • Viscera / embryology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Phenols
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • nonylphenol