Department

Department of Neuroscience

First Advisor

Kara Pratt

Description

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component in plastics that has been a growing concern since the middle of the 1990’s when it was discovered to be an endocrine disruptor. More recent work suggests it could also affect the nervous system. The aim of this project is to identify the sublethal effects of BPA on nervous system development and function. For this we will use the Xenopus tadpole visual system as our model system. This model allows us to study the development and function of a neural circuit at the behavioral, circuit, and cellular levels. Preliminary data has shown that concentrations at 20uM BPA have significant morphological effects and high lethality rates. Tadpoles subjected to 10uM BPA display impaired visual avoidance behavior, an indication of malfunctioning visual system. Initial imaging of the visual neural pathway in tadpoles exposed to BPA have shown abnormalities when compared to control tadpoles. Next, we will characterize the effect of BPA on visual system function at the circuit level by measuring the response of neurons to light projected onto the retina.

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The Effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) on the Neural Development of the Xenopus laevis Tadpole

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component in plastics that has been a growing concern since the middle of the 1990’s when it was discovered to be an endocrine disruptor. More recent work suggests it could also affect the nervous system. The aim of this project is to identify the sublethal effects of BPA on nervous system development and function. For this we will use the Xenopus tadpole visual system as our model system. This model allows us to study the development and function of a neural circuit at the behavioral, circuit, and cellular levels. Preliminary data has shown that concentrations at 20uM BPA have significant morphological effects and high lethality rates. Tadpoles subjected to 10uM BPA display impaired visual avoidance behavior, an indication of malfunctioning visual system. Initial imaging of the visual neural pathway in tadpoles exposed to BPA have shown abnormalities when compared to control tadpoles. Next, we will characterize the effect of BPA on visual system function at the circuit level by measuring the response of neurons to light projected onto the retina.