ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-120419-2
Biosensor Zebrafish Provide New Insights into Potential Health Effects of Environmental Estrogens
Lee, O., Takesono, A., Tada, M., Tyler, C.R., and Kudoh, T.
Date: 2012
Source: Environmental health perspectives   120(7): 990-996 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Kudoh, Tetsuhiro, Tada, Masazumi
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified/genetics
  • Animals, Genetically Modified/metabolism*
  • Biosensing Techniques/methods*
  • Estrogens/pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
PubMed: 22510978 Full text @ Environ. Health Perspect.

Background: Environmental estrogens alter hormone signaling in the body that can induce reproductive abnormalities in both humans and wildlife. Available testing systems for estrogens are focused on specific systems such as reproduction. Crucially, however, the potential for significant health impacts of environmental estrogen exposures on variety of body systems may have been overlooked.

Objective: Our aim was to develop and apply a sensitive transgenic zebrafish model to assess real time effects of environmental estrogens on signaling mechanisms in a whole body system for use in integrated health assessments.

Methods: We created a novel transgenic biosensor zebrafish containing an estrogen inducible promoter derived with multiple tandem estrogen responsive elements (EREs) and a Gal4ff-UAS system for enhanced response sensitivity.

Results: Applying our novel estrogen responsive TG zebrafish we identified target tissues for environmental estrogens with very high sensitivity, including for environmentally relevant exposures. Exposure of the TG fish to estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) induced specific GFP expressions in a wide variety of tissues including the liver, heart, skeletal muscle, otic vesicle, forebrain, lateral line and ganglions, most of which have not been established previously as targets for estrogens in fish. Furthermore, we found that different EDCs induced GFP expression with different tissue response patterns and time trajectories, suggesting different potential health effects.

Conclusion: We have developed a powerful new model for understanding toxicological effects, mechanisms, and health impacts of environmental estrogens in vertebrates.