Stages in Sublethal Exposure to EDCs in a Quail Model System

EPA Grant Number: R826134
Title: Stages in Sublethal Exposure to EDCs in a Quail Model System
Investigators: Ottinger, Mary Ann
Institution: University of Maryland - College Park
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: December 1, 1997 through November 30, 2000
Project Amount: $262,634
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences , Endocrine Disruptors , Health , Safer Chemicals


Studies will be conducted in Japanese quail to investigate the sublethal actions of selected EDCs. We have selected two EDCs for our studies, vinclozolin and and select alkylphenols. These chemicals were chosen because one acts as an antiandrogen and the others are estrogenic. All trials will be conducted using Japanese quail. The Japanese quail provides an advantageous model system because endocrine and behavioral components of reproduction have been well characterized during the life cycle and this species is sexually mature by 8 weeks of age. Sublethal actions of selected EDCs will be studied in an avian system to address these questions: 1) What phases in the life cycle (embryonic, maturing, or adult) are most vulnerable to insult by EDCs , 2) Are there carry over effects from females to their offspring, and 3) Are the gonads, thyroid gland, and hypothalamic GnRH system primary targets for EDCs?


Our experimental approach will investigate endocrine and behavioral components of reproduction and thyroid axis function at the level of the whole organism and on the cellular level. Three studies will be conducted. In Study 1, prepubertal quail EDCs for during sexual maturation and in the adult to study long term reproductive effects of exposure during sexual maturation and peak production. The F1 offspring will be challenged and exposed according to the same paradigm as their parents. Reproductive success will be assessed according to %14 day survivorship. In Study 2, eggs from untreated adult Japanese quail pairs will be exposed to EDCs and compared to a series of controls to investigate mechanisms of the disruption of sexual differentiation. In Study 3, a subset of eggs from Study 1 will be incubated and the endocrine and thyroid target tissues will be studied for effects by maternal deposition. Experimental end points will include sexual behavior, egg production, fertility, hatchability, offspring viability, histology, plasma hormone levels, hypothalamic cGnRH-I status, and pituitary gland function.

Expected Results:

We predict that the embryo is the most vulnerable to EDC insult and that this will be manifested in impaired function of the developing, reproductive and thyroid endocrine systems. Further, we predict that the mechanism of action involves disruption of expression for and production of hypothalamic and pituitary gland hormones, as well as impaired gonadal and thyroid gland function.

Journal Articles : 16 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 16 publications 16 publications in selected types All 16 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Abdelnabi MA, Bakst MR, Woods JE, Ottinger MA. Plasma 17 beta-estradiol levels and ovarian interstitial cell structure in embryonic Japanese quail. Poultry Science 2000;79(4):564-567 not available
Journal Article Abdelnabi MA, Richards MP, Ottinger MA. Comparison of gonadal hormone levels in turkey embryos incubated in long-term shell-less culture and in ovo. Poultry Science 2001;80(5):666-669 not available
Journal Article Abdelnabi MA, Ottinger MA. Hypothalamic indolamines during embryonic development and effects of steroid exposure. General and Comparative Endocrinology 2003;130(1):13-19 not available
Journal Article Catena ML, Porter TE, McNabb FM, Ottinger AA. Cloning of a partial cDNA for Japanese quail thyroid-stimulating hormone beta and effects of methimazole on the thyroid and reproductive axes. Poultry Science 2003;82(3):381-387 R827400 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Lin F, Wu J, Abdelnabi MA, Ottinger MA, Giusti MM. Effects of dose and glycosylation on the transfer of genistein into the eggs of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2004;52(8):2397-2403 not available
Journal Article McGary S, Henry PF, Ottinger MA. Impact of vinclozolin on reproductive behavior and endocrinology in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2001;20(11):2487-2493 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Rattner BA. Husbandry and care of quail. Poultry and Avian Biology Reviews 1999;10(2):117-120 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Abdelnabi MA, Henry P, McGary S, Thompson N, Wu JM. Neuroendocrine and behavioral implications of endocrine disrupting chemicals in quail. Hormones and Behavior 2001;40(2):234-247 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA. Quail and other short-lived birds. Experimental Gerontology 2001;36(4-6):859-868 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Pitts S, Abdelnabi MA. Steroid hormones during embryonic development in Japanese quail: Plasma, gonadal, and adrenal levels. Poultry Science 2001;80(6):795-799 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Kubakawa K, Kikuchi M, Thompson N, Ishii S. Effects of exogenous testosterone on testicular luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone receptors during aging. Experimental Biology and Medicine 2002;227(9):830-836 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Abdelnabi M, Quinn M, Golden N, Wu J, Thompson N. Reproductive consequences of EDCs in birds - What do laboratory effects mean in field species?. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2002;24(1):17-28 not available
Journal Article Ottinger MA, Wu JM, Hazelton JL, Abdelnabi MA, Thompson N, Quinn ML, Donoghue D, Schenck F, Ruscio M, Beavers J, Jaber M. Assessing the consequences of the pesticide methoxychlor: neuroendocrine and behavioral measures as indicators of biological impact of an estrogenic environmental chemical. Brain Research Bulletin 2005;65(3):199-209 not available
Journal Article Pollack SJ, Ottinger MA, Sullivan CV, Woods LC. The effects of the soy isoflavone genistein on the reproductive development of striped bass. North American Journal of Aquaculture 2003;65(3):226-234 not available
Journal Article Quinn MJ, French JB, McNabb FMA, Ottinger MA. The effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (Aroclor 1242) on thyroxine, estradiol, molt, and plumage characteristics in the American kestrel (Falco sparverius). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2002;21(7):1417-1422. R827400 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Vann SL, Sparling DW, Ottinger MA. Effects of white phosphorus on mallard reproduction. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2000;19(10):2525-2531 not available

Supplemental Keywords:

animal, pollution, cellular, age, sensitive populations, toxics, PCB, measurement methods, avian, sexual differentiation., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Biochemistry, Children's Health, Biology, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, avian development, anti-androgen, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure studies, fertility, alkylphenols, animal models, developmental processes, Japanese Quail, estrogen response, thyroid function, hypothalamus, egg production, biological effects, vinclozolin

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final