A news release published online January 23, 2014 in the non-profit organization American Association for the Advancement of Science’ news service EurekAlert! Marnie Halpern reports on a new study finding evidence that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect the development of the heart valves in zebra fish. In the reported study on “Transgenic Zebrafish Reveal Tissue-Specific Differences in Estrogen Signaling in Response to Environmental Water Samples” published in Environmental Health Perspectives, Daniel A. Gorelick and colleagues from the Carnegie Institution for Science and the U.S. Geological Survey used genetically modified zebrafish to detect estrogen activity in vivo. The zebrafish’s DNA was genetically modified to produce green fluroescent proteins when estrogen receptors were activated by the presence of estrogen. To their surprise the scientist found strong estrogen activity during heart development. The genetically modified zebrafish is a useful model organism for detecting the presence of EDCs in the environment, particularly in river water. Furthermore, it allows identification of tissues affected by EDCs. According to the news release, the scientist propose that method could also be used to elucidate the effects of estrogen mimicking chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastic bottles and plastic food packaging materials on developmental processes and EDC-induced alterations in adults.
Marnie Halpern (published online January 23, 2014). “Are developing heart valves sensitive to environmental chemicals?” EurekAlert!.
Gorelick et al (January 14, 2014). “Transgenic Zebrafish Reveal Tissue-Specific Differences in Estrogen Signaling in Response to Environmental Water Samples”. Environmental Health Perspectives.