Superfund Research Program
Zebrafish as a Detector and Discriminator of Organophosphate Exposure
Project investigators provide services and resources to members of the Superfund Center in the following manner: 1) provide instruction and advice for individuals wishing to make their own transgenic fish. A graduate student of Dr. Freedman is in the process of using this facility for making transgenic zebrafish; 2) provide existing transgenic lines to investigators for their use--e.g. we have a heat shock promoter driven green fluorescent protein transgenic line that is clearly metal inducible (a recent report in the October issue of Environmental Health Perspectives clearly describes and characterizes this line); 3) perform treatment studies on embryos/larvae and then provide the fish to investigators for study. The researchers have performed several series of chlorpyrifos treatments for 5 days on zebrafish embryos/larvae, grown them up to adults and provided them to Dr. Levin's laboratory for behavioral assays.
These studies have provided the very exciting result that 5 day exposures at 10ng/ml and 100ng/ml from fertilization through hatching result in adults with learning deficiencies. Therefore, these relatively low dose exposures result in adult effects. This finding was so interesting that they have used it to focus the attention of the research component of this work so that they can possibly determine the molecular/cellular changes affected by these early exposures.