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EMSG34A: Validation of the OECD protocol for the surgical castrate rat (Hershberger) assay

Principal Investigator

Industry Coordinator: Bayer HealthCare - Dr Alexius Freyberger


Participating Industry Laboratories:
Bayer CropScience - Dr Remi Bars
BASF - Dr Elard Jacob
Bayer HealthCare - Dr Alexius Freyberger
ExxonMobil - Dr Jim Freeman
Syngenta CTL UK - Dr John Ashby


The objective of this project was the evaluation and validation of the Hershberger assay as part of the official OECD validation of this test method. This test, developed under the EDTA programme, is designed to help detect chemicals interfering with androgen receptor-mediated mechanisms. The effect of these selected chemicals will be measured through variation in weight of accessory sex glands and muscles in male rats. 

Related Publications

A Freyberger, H Ellinger-Ziegelbauer, F Kroetlinger, Evaluation of the rodent Hershberger bioassay: Testing of coded chemicals and supplementary molecular-biological and biochemical investigations, Toxicology 2007, 239, 77-88.

A Freyberger, E Hartmann, F Kroetlinger, Evaluation of the rodent Hershberger bioassay using three reference (anti)androgens, Archives of Industrial Hygiene & Toxicology 2005, 56, 131-139.

PF Kennel, CT Pallen, RG Bars, Evaluation of the Hershberger assay using three reference endocrine disrupters (androgen and antiandrogens), Reproductive Toxicology 200418, 63-73.

W Owens, LE Gray jr, E Zeiger, M Walker, K Yamasaki, J Ashby, E Jacob, The OECD program to validate the rat Hershberger bioassay to screen compounds for in vivo androgen and antiandrogen responses: Phase 2 dose-response studies, Environmental Health Perspectives 2006, 115, 671-678.

W Owens, E Zeiger, M Walker, J Ashby, L Onyon, LE Gray jr, The OECD program to validate the rat Hershberger bioassay to screen compounds for in vivo androgen and antiandrogen responses. Phase 1: Use of a potent agonist and a potent antagonist to test the standardized protocol, Environmental Health Perspectives 2006, 114, 1259-1265.


K Yamasaki, M Sawaki, R Ohta, H Okuda, S Katayama, T Yamada, T Ohta, T Kosaka, W Owens, OECD Hershberger assay validation in Japan: Phase 2 dose response of methyltestosterone, vinclozolin, and p, p'-DDEEnvironmental Health Perspectives 2003, 111, 1912-1919.

LRI funding: €470,000


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