Endocrine-disrupting effect of the ultraviolet filter benzophenone-3 in zebrafish, Danio rerio

Karin Lund Kinnberg, Gitte I. Petersen, Mette Albrektsen, Mite Minghlani, Suad Mohamud Awad, Bente Frost Holbech, John W. Green, Poul Bjerregaard, Henrik Holbech

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The chemical ultraviolet (UV) filter benzophenone-3 (BP-3) is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor based on results from in vitro and in vivo testing. However, studies including endpoints of endocrine adversity are lacking. The present study investigated the potential endocrine-disrupting effects of BP-3 in zebrafish (Danio rerio) in the Fish Sexual Development Test (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development TG 234) and a 12-d adult male zebrafish study. In TG 234, exposure from 0 d to 60 d posthatch caused a monotone dose-dependent skewing of the phenotypic sex ratio toward fewer males and more female zebrafish (no observed effect concentration [NOEC]: 191μg/L, lowest observed effect concentration [LOEC]: 388μg/L). Besides, gonad maturation was affected in both female fish (NOEC 191μg/L, LOEC 388μg/L) and male fish (NOEC 388μg/L, LOEC 470μg/L). Exposure to BP-3 did not affect the vitellogenin concentration in TG 234. After 12 d exposure of adult male zebrafish, a slight yet significant increase in the vitellogenin concentration was observed at 268μg/L but not at 63μg/L and 437μg/L BP-3. Skewing of the sex ratio is a marker of an endocrine-mediated mechanism as well as a marker of adversity, and therefore the conclusion of the present study is that BP-3 is an endocrine-disrupting chemical in accordance with the World Health Organization's definition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2833-2840
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Endocrine disrupters
  • UV filters
  • Vitellogenin
  • Sex ratio
  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Sunscreening Agents/toxicity
  • Endocrine Disruptors/toxicity
  • Male
  • Vitellogenins/metabolism
  • Sexual Development/drug effects
  • Endocrine System/drug effects
  • Sex Differentiation/drug effects
  • Sex Ratio
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Animals
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity
  • Female
  • Benzophenones/toxicity


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