Appl. Chem., Vol. 70,
No. 9, pp. 1657-1669,
Natural and anthropogenic environmental
Comparative reproductive physiology
of non-mammalian species
the scientific basis for risk assessment
Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton,
Huntingdon, PE17 2LS, U.K.
Abstract: This chapter aims to emphasise
the ways in which reproductive physiology in fish, amphibians, reptiles
and birds differs from that in mammals. Although reproductive physiology
has shown considerable adaptation through evolution, many aspects, including
the biosynthesis and structure of steroid hormones, and to some extent
their functions, have shown a remarkable degree of conservation. Recent
concern about endocrine disruption has focused on natural or synthetic
chemicals interacting with gonadal steroid receptors to agonise or antagonise
the actions of the natural ligands. Gonadal steroids are involved in
most aspects of reproduction, from sexual differentiation during embryonic
development to gamete maturation and sexual behaviour, in all vertebrates.
Physiologically significant endocrine disruption has the potential to
compromise reproduction in many ways.
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