Dose-dependent terathogenic effects of an organophosphate insecticide were found during early sea urchin development. This biological assay is low cost, easy to measure, and allows to detect the effects of the exposure of organisms to the active principle at concentrations lower than the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for man. Effects were found independently from the stage of exposure, and were major as earlier exposure occurred. The stronger effects were exerted on the elongation of the skeletal rods, that was easily measured by following the migration of primary mesenchyme cells, labelled by WGA (wheat germ agglutinin).
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