Event Title

Investigating Autism Spectrum Disorder and Environmental Factors; Effects of Trichloroethylene on Neurodevelopment in Zebrafish

Presenter Information

Dana Thomas, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Start Date

10-28-2016 5:30 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 6:00 PM

Poster Number

61

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that arises from a combination of genetic and environmental contributors that affect each individual differently. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile organic compound used as a metal-cleaning agent and also in dry cleaning substances and is found in some paints and household cleaners. Recent public health studies have found correlations between increased trichloroethylene exposure in pregnant women and increased autism prevalence in their children; however, no experiments have investigated the biology underlying this association to determine if this compound could directly contribute to ASD physiology and associated symptoms. The goal of this research is to analyze the impact of trichloroethylene on brain development in zebrafish embryos, which is a good model for studying early vertebrate brain formation. Embryos were treated with TCE, and general brain and body morphology was assessed using brightfield microscopy. Molecular alterations were assessed by measuring gene expression levels in the whole embryo using quantitative PCR. Preliminary results indicate trichloroethylene elicits a dose-responsive increase of phenotypic changes in zebrafish embryos. This work may reveal new insights into the molecular biology of ASD and inform public policy about trichloroethylene exposure and clinical care for ASD patients and families.

Major

Neuroscience

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Brad Carter, Neuroscience

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 28th, 5:30 PM Oct 28th, 6:00 PM

Investigating Autism Spectrum Disorder and Environmental Factors; Effects of Trichloroethylene on Neurodevelopment in Zebrafish

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that arises from a combination of genetic and environmental contributors that affect each individual differently. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile organic compound used as a metal-cleaning agent and also in dry cleaning substances and is found in some paints and household cleaners. Recent public health studies have found correlations between increased trichloroethylene exposure in pregnant women and increased autism prevalence in their children; however, no experiments have investigated the biology underlying this association to determine if this compound could directly contribute to ASD physiology and associated symptoms. The goal of this research is to analyze the impact of trichloroethylene on brain development in zebrafish embryos, which is a good model for studying early vertebrate brain formation. Embryos were treated with TCE, and general brain and body morphology was assessed using brightfield microscopy. Molecular alterations were assessed by measuring gene expression levels in the whole embryo using quantitative PCR. Preliminary results indicate trichloroethylene elicits a dose-responsive increase of phenotypic changes in zebrafish embryos. This work may reveal new insights into the molecular biology of ASD and inform public policy about trichloroethylene exposure and clinical care for ASD patients and families.