Project Details


There is concern among the public concerning the potential impact of pesticides on neurodevelopment following exposure while critical pathways are being formed (i.e. chemical exposure and autism or hyperactivity). Currently many of the pesticides and chemicals used in commerce have not been evaluated for neuro-behavioral effects brought on by in utero exposure. Even to a lesser extent there have not been studies examining behavioral effects in fish exposed from run-off. In the case of fish neurobehavioral alterations can drastically effect the ability of a population to survive in the wild or able to breed properly. It is important to realize that in humans and in fish that many of the basic biochemical and developmental cues are highly conserved. Because of this studies can be carried out in model organisms that give clues to effects that could be occuring in humans or in wild populations of fish. The behavioral methods are being developed in order to be able to carry out large scale screening of chemicals that can then be further evaluated with other models. Another major concern is the effect of pesticides, estrogenic/androgenic and other compounds present in surface waters on normal male and female gonad development. Endocrine mimics can result in feminization of males, masculinization of females, abnormal development that effect the reproductive succes of wildlife and potentially humans. The second set of studies will examine the fecundity and reproductive success of fish enhabiting clean and contaminated waters. The outcomes will be communication with regulators to explain at what levels effects are seen and propose methods to limit environmental impacts from agricultural and other businesses that release these compounds. These studies will also demonstrate that chemical exposures in ova can have long lasting effects on the exposed organism as well as their offspring. It also points up the fact that exposure when critical systems are being formed can result in effects not observed until puberty or even later.Initially, we had proposed to study the relationship between exposure to pyrethoid on neurodevelopment. In our studies examining the impact of pyrethroid on the neurodevelopment of zebrafish, it has become apparent that other organ systems (heart, cartilage/bone formation) are also being impacted. These include the normal heart development and the cranial facial formation during embryonic development. Both of these organ systems and several other systems depend on the interaction of neurotransmitters such as dopamine with endocrine and cell signaling pathways with +/- feedback loops for proper organ development. It is interesting to note that these same systems appear to be conserved from lower vertebrates through higher vertebrates. These subtle changes in these other systems can result in alterations in behavior and long term developmental effects into juvenile and adulthood. The expansion into these other systems is a direct outcome from our studies examining the impact on the nervous system development.
Effective start/end date10/1/109/30/15


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))


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