Fish Immune Response as Biomarkers
Annual rept. 1 Mar 2000-28 Feb 2001
NEW YORK UNIV TUXEDO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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Aquatic species are exposed to chemical contaminants that leach into the water from neighboring dump-sites or are directly discharged there. Heavily polluted water affects the health of aquatic life by, among other things, enhancing the incidence of infectious diseases. In light of the fact that fish are directly-exposed in the water to toxic chemicals the immune system is an extremely sensitive indicator for detecting the effects of toxic chemicals and that the immune responses of fish are highly-conserved phylogenetically and, thus, structurally and functionally related to that of mammals, a study is proposed to test the hypotheses that immune functions of fish can serve as biological indicators for predicting toxicological hazards associated with polluted aquatic environments, as well as serve as an alternate model for mammals for predicting human health risks. The proposed studies employ a panel of well-established immune assays to evaluate the effects of known mammalian immunotoxicants and aquatic pollutants, alone and in combination, on the immune responses of Japanese medaka Oryzias lallpes. This study provides the opportunity to better understand the toxicological hazards and human health risks associated with exposure to militarily-relevant chemicals and meets the goals of the military which are to develop and validate new and more sensitive methods for assessing the toxic effects of chemicals in the ambient environment.