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Britta Kais


Institut für Zoologie

Abteilung V Morphologie & Ökologie

Im Neuenheimer Feld 230

Tel: +049-(0)6221/545659

Fax:: +049-(0)6221/546162

e-Mail: britta.kais@zoo.uni-heidelberg.de



Dissertation title:

Microscopy and Live-Imaging for the detection of specific toxicity and molecular mechanisms of action of sediment-bound pollutants with the zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Short description:

In the joint research project DanTox an eukaryontic test concept is supposed to be developed and evaluated, allowing the measurement of ecotoxicological effects of contaminated in varying specific biological endpoints (Biomarkers for teratogenicity, genotoxicity and mutagenicity, Ah-receptor mediated toxicity, neurotoxicity) and on the level of gene expression (DNA-arrays and RT-PCR), providing a molecular and physiological knowledge base about the mechanisms of damaging effects in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. By incorporation of different biomarkers for determination of the ecotoxicological effects in exposed fish embryos, a complex picture of the damaging potential of several chosen substances (methyl mercurychloride, chlorpyrifos, Arochlor 1254 and bisphenol A) and environmental samples will be created.To do so, the varying biomarkers and endpoints from the experiments with fish embryos exposed to monosubstances, extracts and native sediments will be combined. Apart from classical light microscopy, especially modern image generating methods of Live Imaging are incorporated, providing function-morphological data for identification and interpretation of toxical effectscaused by sediment-bound pollutants. In detail, the following techniques are applied: Live Imaging of the Cytochrome P450 induction during early stages of the embryonal development, capture of the calcium oscillations in isolated fish cells, micronucleus test in selective tissue of embryos, specific developmental-biological investigations for the detection of neurotoxical effects in early developmental stadiums, histo- and cytopathology as general indicators for the health status of the embryos as well as clues for mechanism-specific effects.