Effects of Endocrine Active Substances
In our working group we investigate the effects of environmentally relevant compounds on different hormone systems of aquatic vertebrates. Hormones regulate various physiological processes, e.g. development, growth and reproduction in all vertebrates. One focus of our work is the investigation of effects on the thyroid system, which is essential for the normal development in all vertebrates. Since early developmental stages are most sensitive to harmful influences by the environment, we analyse effects of chronical or acute exposures to environmental substances in larvae of Cyprinus carpio (Carp) and Xenopus laevis (South African clawed frog). In doing so, we evaluate modifications of the larvae morphology, gene expression of key factors and whether thyroid morphology is affected. With our research we aim to contribute to show possible effects of environmentally relevant chemicals on the physiology of aquatic wildlife.