Assessment of neurotoxicity: links between molecular events and behavioral alterations

Assessment of neurotoxicity: links between molecular events and behavioral alterations

The neurotoxic potential of environmental contaminants presents a threat to vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. However, the assessment of the neurotoxicity of chemicals so far is limited to few compounds and target organisms. There is therefore great demand for the development of meaningful methods for the investigation of the neurotoxicity of pollutants and environmental samples. Bioassays with embryos and larvae of zebrafish, a main model organism in neurotoxicology, are ideal for this task since they combine the advantages of in vitro and in vivo bioassays and and are able to measure effects on the molecular level, the cellular level and behaviorial changes. The project aims to establish and apply a biotesting approach for neurotoxicity assessment that integrates effects at the molecular and cellular levels and respective behavioral responses, complemented by tissue and organ evaluation