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Event Title

Plasma vitellogenin concentrations, Reduction
Short name: Plasma vitellogenin concentrations, Reduction

Key Event Overview

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AOPs Including This Key Event

AOP Name Event Type Essentiality
Aromatase inhibition leading to reproductive dysfunction KE Strong
Androgen receptor agonism leading to reproductive dysfunction KE Strong
Estrogen receptor antagonism leading to reproductive dysfunction KE Strong
Prolyl hydroxylase inhibition leading to reproductive dysfunction via increased HIF1 heterodimer formation KE Moderate
Unknown MIE leading to reproductive dysfunction via increased HIF-1alpha transcription KE

Taxonomic Applicability

Name Scientific Name Evidence Links

Level of Biological Organization

Biological Organization

How this Key Event works

Vitellogenin synthesized in the liver is secreted into the blood and circulates to the ovaries for uptake.

How it is Measured or Detected

Vitellogenin concentrations in plasma are typically detected using enzyme linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA; e.g., (Korte et al. 2000; Tyler et al. 1996; Holbech et al. 2001; Fenske et al. 2001). Although less specific and/or sensitive, determination of alkaline-labile phosphate or Western blotting has also been employed.

Evidence Supporting Taxonomic Applicability

Oviparous vertebrates synthesize yolk precursor proteins that are transported in the circulation for uptake by developing oocytes. Many invertebrates also synthesize vitellogenins that are taken up into developing oocytes via active transport mechanisms. However, invertebrate vitellogenins are transported in hemolymph or via other transport mechanisms rather than plasma.


  • Korte JJ, Kahl MD, Jensen KM, Mumtaz SP, Parks LG, LeBlanc GA, et al. 2000. Fathead minnow vitellogenin: complementary DNA sequence and messenger RNA and protein expression after 17B-estradiol treatment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19(4): 972-981.
  • Tyler C, van der Eerden B, Jobling S, Panter G, Sumpter J. 1996. Measurement of vitellogenin, a biomarker for exposure to oestrogenic chemicals, in a wide variety of cyprinid fish. Journal of Comparative Physiology and Biology 166: 418-426.
  • Wahli W. 1988. Evolution and expression of vitellogenin genes. Trends in Genetics. 4:227-232.
  • Holbech H, Andersen L, Petersen GI, Korsgaard B, Pedersen KL, Bjerregaard P. Development of an ELISA for vitellogenin in whole body homogenate of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001 Sep;130(1):119-31.
  • Fenske M, van Aerle R, Brack S, Tyler CR, Segner H. Development and validation of a homologous zebrafish (Danio rerio Hamilton-Buchanan) vitellogenin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and its application for studies on estrogenic chemicals. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001. Jul;129(3):217-32.