Superfund Research Program
Zebrafish as a Detector and Discriminator of Organophosphate Exposure
Considerable progress has been made this year. Dr. Linney’s research team has clear evidence that acetylcholine esterase is a target of chlorpyrifos in the developing zebrafish. Independently inhibiting acetylcholine esterase with morpholinos also produces adults with learning deficiencies and the researchers will see if they can confirm this connection by using heterozygous mutants of acetylcholine esterase. The supplement awarded to the researchers that allowed for microarray analysis revealed that 15-17 genes that were up-regulated by 3 day 100ng/ml chlorpyrifos exposure were also up-regulated at similar ratios in 10ng/ml and aceytylcholine esterase morpholino injected embryos suggesting an overlap at the gene expression level.
Technologically the research team also added the Noldus Ethovison video tracking/analysis software that allows them to detect motility changes produced from chlorpyrifos exposure. This should provide a more efficient means of identifying the critical window of vulnerability so that they can efficiently examine events occurring within this window to try to get closer to mechanism.