Development of a locomotor assay for the measurement of hyperactivity in zebrafish after early developmental BPA exposure
The purpose of this experiment was to measure the effects of low dose bisphenol A (BPA) exposure on zebrafish hyperactivity. BPA is a common component in durable plastics but its estrogen mimicking structure has raised concerns that early developmental exposure results in increased rates of anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and aggression. This type of exposure was replicated using zebrafish, an important model organism in biology. Embryos were raised in a low dose solution of BPA (0.01, 0.1, 1 uM) from 24 to 36 hours post fertilization (hpf). This window was selected because it includes the period of primary hypothalamic neurogenesis. During this period stem cells and progenitor cells are used to build neuron in the hypothalamus which controls the autonomic nervous system and homeostatic systems. To asses hyperactivity a locomotor assay was performed at 3 and 5 days post fertilization (dpf) to determine speed and distance traveled in response to a tactile stimulus. The locomotor assay was specifically developed for the needs of the lab and included development of: a videoing procedure using a microscope camera, a video processing and data extraction procedure using a physics motion applet and a data analysis procedure using new functions built in R. We will use these methods to identify significant differences in speed or distance between control and BPA exposed embryos, between BPA concentrations, and between development stages. These data will give us the ability to determine if BPA influences rates of hyperactivity in zebrafish exposed during development.