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Mating behavior as non-invasive biomarker in Xenopus laevis for the assessment of endocrine disrupting compounds

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      Abstract

      Hormonell wirksame Chemikalien, wie Pflanzenschutzmittel oder Pharmaka gelangen durch Abwässer in die Umwelt und akkumulieren vor allem in Oberflächengewässern. Ein erhöhtes Augenmerk liegt auf Substanzen, die durch (anti)androgene und (anti)östrogene Wirkungsweise die Reproduktion von Tieren und Menschen beeinträchtigen. Bei den bisherigen Nachweismethoden für diese Stoffe handelt es sich um invasive Methoden, die das Töten der Tiere beinhalten. Diesen Methoden mangelt es jedoch an der nötigen Sensitivität, um umweltrelevante Konzentrationen der endokrinen Disruptoren (EDs) nach Kurzzeitexposition nachweisen zu können, sowie am Vermögen, alle vier Wirkmechanismen (androgen, antiandrogen, östrogen und antiöstrogen) mit einer einzelnen Testmethode feststellen und unterscheiden zu können. In dieser Studie wurde deshalb mit Hilfe männlicher Afrikanischer Krallenfrösche (Xenopus laevis) eine Testmethode entwickelt, bei der die Frösche verschiedenen (anti)androgenen und (anti)östrogenen EDs ausgesetzt wurden und ihr Rufverhalten untersucht wurde. Diese nicht-invasive Methode erwies sich als schnell und höchst sensitiv. Zudem war es erstmals möglich, die vier verschiedenen Wirkmechanismen allein anhand veränderter Ruftypen und Rufparameter zu bestimmen und zu unterscheiden. Darüber hinaus konnte gezeigt werden, dass bei Anwendung dieser Methode die Möglichkeit besteht, die Versuchstiere in weiteren Tests wiederzuverwenden, da die Rufparameter nach einer expositionsfreien Zeit von sechs Wochen wieder Kontrollwerte erreichten. Zusammengefasst kann die hier vorgestellte verhaltensphysiologische und damit nicht-invasive Methode als Biomarker für den Nachweis von (anti)androgenen und (anti)östrogenen EDs verwendet werden. Ferner zeigt die hohe Sensitivität des Tests, sowie die Möglichkeit der vollautomatischen Analyse enormer Datenmengen, dass dieser schnelle Verhaltenstest ein großes Potential hat, ein sensitiver, standardisierter und nicht-invasiver Biomarker zu werden.

      Abstract

      Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), such as herbicides, pesticides or pharmaceuticals enter the environment via sewage effluents and especially accumulate in surface waters. Research efforts so far mainly focused on EDCs with (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic modes of action (MOAs), which can interfere with reproductive biology of vertebrates. To date, biomarkers for the assessment of such compounds are invasive techniques, which are not sensitive enough to detect EDCs after short-term exposures and which cannot distinguish between the four MOAs. Hence, in this study a non-invasive method for the assessment of EDCs was developed using male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) as model species. Frogs were exposed to individual (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic EDCs in the surrounding water and their calling behavior was analyzed. This non-invasive method turned out to be a fast and highly sensitive biomarker for the detection of (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic EDCs. Moreover, this method was able to differentiate between the four different MOAs solely by determining affected parameters of the calling behavior. It was also shown that by using this method, it might be possible to reuse already tested experimental animals, because the measured affected parameters were reversed after a period of six weeks under control conditions. Taken together the here established non-invasive behavioral method can be used as biomarker for the detection of (anti)androgenic and (anti)estrogenic EDCs. Furthermore, the high sensitivity of this testing method, as well as the possibility of analyzing vast datasets rapidly in a completely automated fashion indicate the huge potential for this rapid behavior test to become a sensitive, standardized, non-invasive biomarker.

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      Most cited references 12

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      A new mathematical model for relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR.

       M. Pfaffl (2001)
      Use of the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify cDNA products reverse transcribed from mRNA is on the way to becoming a routine tool in molecular biology to study low abundance gene expression. Real-time PCR is easy to perform, provides the necessary accuracy and produces reliable as well as rapid quantification results. But accurate quantification of nucleic acids requires a reproducible methodology and an adequate mathematical model for data analysis. This study enters into the particular topics of the relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR of a target gene transcript in comparison to a reference gene transcript. Therefore, a new mathematical model is presented. The relative expression ratio is calculated only from the real-time PCR efficiencies and the crossing point deviation of an unknown sample versus a control. This model needs no calibration curve. Control levels were included in the model to standardise each reaction run with respect to RNA integrity, sample loading and inter-PCR variations. High accuracy and reproducibility (<2.5% variation) were reached in LightCycler PCR using the established mathematical model.
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        Ultrasonic courtship vocalizations in wild house mice, Mus musculus musculus

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          Freezing urine reduces its efficacy for eliciting ultrasonic vocalizations from male mice.

          Studies on chemosensory communication generally rely on using samples of emanations that have been frozen for convenience, and assume that freezing has no detrimental effects. Female urine triggers courtship ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in male mice, and in this study, we examined whether freezing urine affects males' USV responses. We used wild-derived house mice (Mus musculus musculus), and recorded males' USVs after being presented samples of fresh versus frozen urine. We found that males emitted significantly fewer USVs when presented with frozen versus fresh urine, and furthermore, males were no longer able to discriminate the scent of familiar versus unfamiliar females after samples were frozen. Our findings indicate that freezing alters the bioactivity of urinary compounds both by reducing its potential to elicit behavioral responses from receivers (male courtship USVs) and eliminating important information about senders (familiarity). Freezing may denature the major urinary proteins (MUPs) released in rodent urine that play an important role in chemical communication. Our results raise concerns about the negative results of studies utilizing frozen samples for studying chemical signals.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät I, Humboldt-Universität (kvv )
            6 June 2012
            oai:HUBerlin.de:39395
            , Prof. Dr. (Referee), , Prof. Dr. (Referee), , Prof. Dr. (Referee)

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