2021 review

A Crab Is Not a Fish: Unique Aspects of the Crustacean Endocrine System and Considerations for Endocrine Toxicology


By: T. Knigge*, G. LeBlanc‚ÄČ & A. Ford*

author keywords: endocrine disruption; neuroendocrine disruption; ecdysteroid signaling; color change; sexual differentiation
Source: Web Of Science
Added: April 5, 2021

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 color, 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 signaling that may prove to be targets of disruption. This review highlights that crustaceans need to be evaluated for endocrine disruption with consideration of their unique endocrine system and not with consideration of the endocrine system of vertebrates.