JENSEN, BH; PULICE, E*; The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY; The College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY: Intact Teleostian Ovarian Follicles as a Potential Detector of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and an Undergratuate Level Teaching Tool

Many undergraduate science labs rely predominantly on laboratory demonstrations rather than student-designed experimentation. We are currently working to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in comparative physiology experiments of their own design. The mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) is a euryhaline teleost that resides in salt marshes from Florida to Newfoundland. In its habitat, the mummichog is frequently exposed to environmental contaminants such as antifouling paints and pesticides. Some of these chemicals are known endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC). We were curious as to whether these chemicals would disrupt final maturation in the mummichogs’ ovarian follicle. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of the ovarian follicle model in detecting EDC, and expose undergraduate students to a research program in comparative physiology. We have used germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) to indicate the effects of exposure of ovarian follicles to the commercially available pesticide, sevin, and tribuytl tin (TBT), zinc, and copper based antifouling paints. Competent mummichog ovarian follicles (.8 – 1.0 mm) were isolate and maintained in 75% Dulbeco’s L-15 media at room temperature (22°C ± 3°C). Ovarian follicles were either primed for maturation with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or 17α-hydroxy,20β-dihydroprogesterone (DHP) or left uninduced. Follicles were observed over 72 hours to detect GVBD, hydration and ovulation. Preliminary results suggest that zinc and cuprous oxide have little effect on our GVBD model, while TBT and sevin weakly induced GVBD, with higher concentrations of sevin causing mortality. Although this is an ongoing study, initial results suggest that mummichog final maturation is fairly resistant to the EDC we examined.