Exposure to environmental contaminants has been linked to developmental and reproductive abnormalities leading to infertility, spontaneous abortion, reduced number of offspring, and metabolic disorders. In addition, there is evidence linking environmental contaminants and endocrine disruption to abnormal developmental rate, defects in heart and eye morphology, and alterations in behavior. Notably, these effects could not be explained by interaction with a single hormone receptor. Here, using a whole-organism approach, we investigated morphological changes to developing zebrafish caused by exposure to a number of environmental contaminants, including Bisphenol A ( ), di (2-ethylhexyl) (DEHP), , and at concentrations measured in a local water body (Oldman River, AB), individually and in mixture. Exposure to nanomolar contaminant concentrations resulted in abnormal morphological development, including changes to body length, pericardia (heart), and the head. We also characterize the spatiotemporal expression profiles of estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone receptors to demonstrate that localization of these receptors might be mediating contaminant effects on development. Finally, we examined the effects of contaminants singly and in mixture. Combined, our results support the hypothesis that adverse effects of contaminants are not mediated by single hormone receptor signaling, and adversity of contaminants in mixture could not be predicted by simple additive effect of contaminants. The findings provide a framework for better understanding of developmental toxicity of environmental contaminants in zebrafish and other vertebrate species.
Liu Y., Liang Y., Wishart D.S. (2015) PolySearch 2.0: A significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins, and more. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jul 1;43(Web Server Issue):W535-42.
Cheng D., Knox C., Young N., Stothard P., Damaraju S., Wishart D.S. (2008) PolySearch: a web-based text mining system for extracting relationships between human diseases, genes, mutations, drugs and metabolites. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jul 1;36(Web Server Issue):W399-405.
This project is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (award #111062), Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, and by The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC), a nationally-funded research and core facility that supports a wide range of cutting-edge metabolomic studies. TMIC is funded by Genome Alberta, Genome British Columbia, and Genome Canada, a not-for-profit organization that is leading Canada's national genomics strategy with $900 million in funding from the federal government.