Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Transcriptional impact of organophosphate and metal mixtures on olfaction: copper dominates the chlorpyrifos-induced response in adult zebrafish.

Authors: Tilton, Fred A; Tilton, Susan C; Bammler, Theo K; Beyer, Richard P; Stapleton, Patricia L; Scholz, Nathaniel L; Gallagher, Evan P

Published In Aquat Toxicol, (2011 Apr)

Abstract: Chemical exposures in fish have been linked to loss of olfaction leading to an inability to detect predators and prey and decreased survival. However, the mechanisms underlying olfactory neurotoxicity are not well characterized, especially in environmental exposures which involve chemical mixtures. We used zebrafish to characterize olfactory transcriptional responses by two model olfactory inhibitors, the pesticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) and mixtures of CPF with the neurotoxic metal copper (Cu). Microarray analysis was performed on RNA from olfactory tissues of zebrafish exposed to CPF alone or to a mixture of CPF and Cu. Gene expression profiles were analyzed using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, whereas gene set analysis was used to identify biological themes in the microarray data. Microarray results were confirmed by real-time PCR on genes serving as potential biomarkers of olfactory injury. In addition, we mined our previously published Cu-induced zebrafish olfactory transcriptional response database (Tilton et al., 2008) for the purposes of discriminating pathways of olfaction impacted by either the individual agents or the CPF-Cu mixture transcriptional signatures. CPF exposure altered the expression of gene pathways associated with cellular morphogenesis and odorant binding, but not olfactory signal transduction, a known olfactory pathway for Cu. The mixture profiles shared genes from the Cu and CPF datasets, whereas some genes were altered only by the mixtures. The transcriptional signature of the mixtures was more similar to that in zebrafish exposed to Cu alone than for CPF. In conclusion, exposure to a mixture containing a common environmental metal and pesticide causes a unique transcriptional signature that is heavily influenced by the metal, even when organophosphate predominates.

PubMed ID: 21356183 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Biological Markers/metabolism; Chlorpyrifos/toxicity*; Copper/toxicity*; Female; Gene Expression/drug effects; Insecticides/toxicity*; Male; Nervous System/drug effects; Olfactory Pathways/drug effects; Olfactory Pathways/metabolism; Smell/drug effects*; Smell/genetics; Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity*; Zebrafish Proteins/genetics; Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism; Zebrafish/genetics; Zebrafish/metabolism; Zebrafish/physiology*

to Top