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A crab is not a fish: unique aspects of the crustacean endocrine system and considerations for endocrine toxicology

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Crustaceans –and arthropods in general– exhibit many unique aspects to their physiology. These include the requirement to moult (ecdysis) in order to grow and reproduce, the ability to change colour, and multiple strategies for sexual differentiation. Accordingly, the endocrine regulation of these processes involves hormones, receptors, and enzymes that differ from those utilized by vertebrates and other non-arthropod invertebrates. As a result, environmental chemicals known to disrupt endocrine processes in vertebrates are often not endocrine
disruptors in crustaceans; while, chemicals that disrupt endocrine processes in crustaceans are often not endocrine disruptors in vertebrates. In this review, we present an overview of the evolution of the endocrine system of crustaceans, highlight endocrine endpoints known to be a target of disruption by chemicals, and identify other components of endocrine signalling that may prove to be targets of disruption. This review highlights that crustaceans need to be
evaluated for endocrine disruption with consideration of their endocrine and not with consideration of the endocrine system of vertebrates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number587608
Number of pages22
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


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