Superfund Research Program
Zebrafish as a Detector and Discriminator of Organophosphate Exposure
Two important structural changes have been introduced into this project: 1)Dr. Linney's team's experience with zebrafish embryos and collaboration with Dr. Levin has allowed them to begin to organize how to reliably screen Superfund chemicals using a variety of procedures; and 2)the investigators obtained a supplement that will allow them to use microarray analysis in their screening procedures. These changes position the researchers to examine different classes of Superfund chemicals in a more structured manner. Specifically, this year(with the help of the research core) they have continued to explore the effects of chlorpyrifos on developing zebrafish embryos. In collaboration with Dr. Levin's laboratory they reported that 5 day post-fertilization exposures of chlorpyrifos cause the adults to have learning deficiencies. Project investigators have quantitated the effect of chlorpyrifos exposure upon acetylcholine esterase activity in the embryo and have pursued experiments that suggest that effects of chlorpyrifos target the zebrafish acetylcholine esterase molecule. Experiments were begun with fipronil which suggest that a simple pre-screen of transgenic embryos might allow identification of targets areas of toxicant effects. Next year, the researchers will broaden the scope of chemicals to be studied for effects upon vertebrate embryonic development.