In ovo exposure to nonylphenol and bisphenol A resulted in dose-independent feminization of male gonads in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) embryos



Sex reversal effects of nonylphenol and bisphenol A on the gonads in F1(AWE × WE) Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) embryos were investigated using an in vivo screening model developed previously. The F1 (AWE × WE) Japanese quail are a useful avian model because sex differentiation is confirmed by the plumage color before hatching, ruled by a criss-cross inheritance. The nonylphenol at 200, 2,000, 20,000, and 200,000 ng/egg and bisphenol A at 20, 200, 2,000, and 20,000 ng/egg were injected into the egg white just before incubation. At 16 d of incubation, embryos were subjected to a complete necropsy, and their gonads were both grossly observed and examined histopathologically and morphometrically. Grossly, genetic sex was confirmed because plumage color coincided completely with the external sex phenotype of the gonads in all embryos. Histopathologically, feminization of the male gonad, called ovotestis, developed in the left testis in all nonylphenol- and bisphenol A-treated groups. The incidence of the lesion in all treated groups was significantly higher than that in the control group, whereas there were no dose-dependent changes in the incidence and area of the ovotestis in both nonylphenol- and bisphenol A-treated groups. The present study revealed that nonylphenol and bisphenol A have a dose-independent potential of ovotestis induction in the Japanese quail embryo. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 1091–1097. © 2012 SETAC