Developing the Sheepshead and Fathead Minnows as Immunotoxicty Models
Our lab is currently working to develop two small fish species, the fathead minnow and the sheepshead minnow, as model organisms for immunotoxicity. Currently, few aquatic organisms have been utilized to assess the ability of common environmental contaminants to alter immune function, despite evidence indicating that various contaminants have the potential to modulate immunity. In order to better evaluate the potential impacts of such contaminants, sufficient model organisms and test methods are needed. To this end, we have been characterizing basic aspects of immunity in these two species, so that future studies can evaluate the impact of chemical exposures on various immune parameters.