A Comprehensive Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program: A VTG ELISA that Preserves the Fish

Life Sciences, Fundamental Research,
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Vitellogenin (VTG) in fish is an estrogen-induced yolk precursor protein mainly synthesized in the liver, prior to deposition in the maturing oocytes, where it is split into the yolk proteins lipovitellin 1, lipovitellin 2 and phosvitin. These proteins provide nourishment for developing embryos.

Due to its estrogen-dependent synthesis, vitellogenin is considered to be a hallmark “female protein”. Since male and juvenile fish do not produce much estrogen, their vitellogenin levels are quite low,and non-physiological induction of vitellogenin in these fish is thought to indicate estrogen mediated endocrine disruption. Therefore, vitellogenin determination is one of the core endpoints in screening and testing for endocrine disrupting chemicals standardized in the OECD Guidelines for the testing of chemicals for estrogenic activity.

Historically, vitellogenin measurement has been limited to blood or whole body homogenate (WBH) samples – both of which are sample types that require invasive and destructive treatment of fish. Recent studies, however, have shown that vitellogenin can also be detected in the epidermal mucus of fish, though the VTG concentration there can be significantly lower compared to that in blood or WBH. Thus, suitable methods for mucus collection and vitellogenin determination in mucus are required.

The TECO Vitellogenin System is unique in that it includes a validated mucus collection set for gentle and effective mucus sampling adapted to a highly sensitive laboratory ELISA test. The assay offers the following advantages:

  • A simple, standardized sampling technique
  • A non-invasive and non-destructive sampling procedure
  • A defined sample matrix free of protease contamination from non-target tissues or lymphatic fluid
  • An optimal procedure for obtaining vitellogenin samples during field testing

This webinar will describe the background associated with the development of this assay, how it can be used as a part of a comprehensive endocrine disruptor screening program and future directions utilizing fish mucus samples to measure related endpoint proteins.



Reinhard Möller, PhD, Sales & Marketing Manager, TECOmedical AG

Dr. Möller received his PhD from the University of Goettingen/Germany where he studied agriculture and worked on developing different ELISA assays related to animal endocrinology. He has extensive cell culture and immunology experience as well as in-depth knowledge of assay development and scale-up. He currently works to promote the implementation and use of the TECO Vitellogenin Fish ELISAs which are ideal assays for labs researching endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), performing REACH chemical testing or assessing EDCs as a part of a regulatory framework. He has experience working with large reference labs, government agencies, research labs and industry labs.

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Who Should Attend?

  • Research scientists working in the fields of ecotoxicology or endocrine disruptor chemicals research
  • Industry representatives evaluating environmental toxicology effects of workplace chemicals or pesticides
  • Laboratory professionals at waste-water treatment facility testing plants
  • Technologists and supervisors at reference laboratories performing environmental monitoring studies
  • Government and regulatory personnel establishing and enforcing environmental protections policies

Xtalks Partners


Diapharma is a US-based distributor of specialty diagnostic and research assays for the fields of hemostasis & thrombosis, platelet function testing, toxicology and environmental monitoring. With a team of dedicated technical and scientific product managers, Diapharma is able to bring leading assays from the EU to US market. They specifically partner with TECOmedical to provide the full portfolio of vitellogenin ELISA assays to US and Canadian customers.


TECOmedical is a Swiss-based company with subsidiaries throughout Europe. They are a leading provider of CE-marked in vitro specialty assays in the areas of medical and veterinary diagnostics, pharmaceutical biosafety, and environmental testing. They also develop and evaluate new test systems in collaboration with thought leaders or as a service to pharmaceutical, CRO or research organizations.

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