Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

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

Principal Investigator

Dr Alexius Freyberger
Bayer HealthCare


Dr Remi Bars, Bayer CropScience, remi.bars@bayercropscience.com
Dr Elard Jacob, BASF, elard.jacob@basf-ag.de
Dr Jim Freeman,ExxonMobil, jim.freeman@exxonmobil.com
Dr John Ashby, Syngenta CTL UK, john.ashby@syngenta.com


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


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’-DDE. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Dec;111(16):1912-9.

PF Kennel, CT Pallen, RG Bars. Evaluation of the Hershberger assay using three reference endocrine disrupters (androgen and antiandrogens)Reprod Toxicol. 2004 Jan-Feb;18(1):63-73.

A Freyberger, E Hartmann, F Kroetlinger. Evaluation of the rodent Hershberger bioassay using three reference (anti)androgensArh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2005 Jun;56(2):131-9.

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 protocolEnviron Health Perspect 2006 Aug;114(8):1259-65.

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. Environ Health Perspect. 2007 May;115(5):671-8.

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 Sep 24;239(1-2):77-88


LRI funding: €470,000

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