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Effects of endocrine disruptors on Phallusia mammillata embryonic development

Abstract : Bisphenol A (BPA) is a plastic-derived molecule that is now considered an endocrine disruptor (ED). BPA impair hormonal systems via binding to nuclear receptors (NRs) and it has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, possibly due to the presence of some NRs in the vertebrate brain. BPA has been reported to affect marine invertebrates such as ascidians, but how is BPA acting is not known. My PhD project is aimed at deciphering the toxicity of BPA on embryonic development of the marine invertebrate chordate Phallusia mammillata (Tunicata). Firstly, I assessed the embryonic expression of P. mammillata NRs and found that 5 are expressed within the ascidian brain (also called sensory vesicle, SV) (COUP, ERR, PPAR, PXR/VDR) or nearby (TR). Interestingly, the human orthologues of most of these NRs are known to bind BPA. Secondly, I assessed BPA toxicity during P. mammillata embryonic development and found that BPA is toxic in a dose-dependent manner. I also show that at micromolar doses BPA induces neurodevelopmental toxicity by impairing differentiation of the ascidian pigmented sensory organ (PSO). I further show that this phenotype is specific to bisphenols. Finally, estrogen-related receptor (ERR) agonists and antagonists partially phenocopied BPA phenotype. Interestingly, I found that Pm-ERR is expressed in the larval SV close to the ascidian PSO, thus suggesting an involvement of Pm-ERR in the BPA phenotype. Furthermore, the complex pleiotropic action of BPA together with the presence of other NRs in the ascidian larval brain raises the possibility that these NRs are involved both in ascidian brain development and EDs toxicity, thus they should not be overlooked.
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Isa Gomes. Effects of endocrine disruptors on Phallusia mammillata embryonic development. Development Biology. Sorbonne Université, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SORUS419⟩. ⟨tel-02413874v2⟩

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