Ecotoxicology integrates toxicology and ecology to study of the effects of toxic chemicals found in the water, soil, and air on biological organisms and their populations, communities and terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Ecotoxicologist have leveraged contaminant analysis to focus on predicting the effects of pollution to help identify the most efficient and effective action to prevent or remediate any detrimental effect, or restore ecosystem services and functions. Recent advances in metabolic fingerprinting/metabolomics offer the opportunity to observe early and/or sensitive responses to contaminant insults. Metabolomics is increasingly used in ecotoxicology to connect contaminant exposure of sentinel species to early detection of harm. Key organizations like USEPA and OECD are using metabolomics in conjunction with transcriptomics to elucidate adverse outcome pathways that link contaminant insult to adverse outcomes in species of concern.
AXYS is a world leader in ultra-trace analysis of small-molecule entities and has been measuring xenobiotics and their metabolites for almost four decades using FI or LC-MS and high resolution GC-MS techniques. AXYS has the methods and products to analyze hundreds of endogenous biochemicals that may be impacted by contaminants of emerging concern, alongside thousands of ultra-low level analyses of the contaminants themselves. The combination of AXYS metabolomics suite and environmental analyses can measure and monitor insult-response relationships in any environment for many organisms including mammals and aquatic species. This remarkable selection of analyses can provide researchers insights into the biology physiological state of biological systems, with biochemical profiling and quantitative metabolite concentration data.Check out our Latest Publication on the Topic – A Review & Optimization of ‘Omics for Systems Toxicology published in Enviromental Toxicology & ChemistryThis study presents a review of experimental design and statistical considerations applicable to the use of ‘omics methods in systems toxicology studies, highlights potential sources of experimental variability, and suggests strategies with which to reduce and/or control such variability to improve the application of ‘omics data for systems toxicology.
Omics for aquatic ecotoxicology: Control of extraneous variability to enhance the analysis of environmental effects (2015) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Simmons, D.B., Benskin, J.P., Cosgrove, J.R., Duncker, B.P., Ekman, D.R., Martyniuk, C.J., Sherry, J.P.
Key Features of our Eco-Tox Offering:
- Ability to measure a diverse set of contaminants at low levels in limited sample conditions.
- Expertise in passive sampling contaminant analysis to support chronic exposure and uptake studies, especially for multiple contaminant groups from the same sample
- Hundreds of endogenous metabolites across several biochemical classes, including lipids (including polar, neutral, and ether lipid classes), fatty acids, bile acids, amino acids, acylcarnitines, hexoses, biogenic amines, and polyamines.
- Contaminant exposure and metabolomic response from the same laboratory.
- Services to support experimental design for dosing studies and other approaches.
- Custom method development services for difficult-to-measure or novel contaminants or metabolites. AXYS specializes in the analysis of diverse matrices, and is able to offer customized sample preparation to meet its client’s needs.
- Statistical analysis of the metabolomics data, utilizing a variety of parametric and non-parametric significance tests, principal components analysis, partial least squares regressions and more.
- All methods validated in several species and in current use to identify potential biomarkers, establish insult-response relationships, and classify underlying pathological etiology.
AXYS offers the unique ability to combine any targets from our endogenous metabolite and environmental lists, in a vast array of matrices:
- Amino Acids
- Biogenic Amines
- Bile Acids
- Fatty Acids
- Flame Retardants
- Bisphenol A
- Dioxins and Furans
- Fluorinated Compounds
- Chlorinated Compounds
- Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products
- Naphthenic Acids
- Phthalates and Metabolites
- Emerging Contaminants
- Passive Samplers
AXYS Develops Zebrafish Toxicity Assay
The increasing presence of environmental contaminants in aquatic ecosystems are of concern due to the high biological activities of many compounds. Zebrafish embryos are a promising model to study effects of short-term exposure due to their relative ease of use, and applicability to human biological systems. AXYS developed an exposure protocol, and developed targeted metabolomic methods to measure metabolite fingerprints in the embryos. AXYS measured the resultant metabolomic perturbations in Zebrafish Larvae after they were exposed to a variety of contaminants in different exposure experiments at environmentally relevant concentrations. For example, in an experiment involving exposure to select pharmaceuticals, AXYS proved the toxicological relevance of measuring metabolomic changes using a systems biology approach, and identified key and unique pathways affected by the exposure.
Fingerprinting Multi-Organism Responses to Endocrine Disruptors
AXYS supported the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s efforts to understand the potential impact from endocrine-disrupting compounds on species living around various municipal wastewater treatment plants. AXYS applied targeted metabolomics to many species including Rainbow trout, juvenile fathead minnow, hexagenia larvae, goldfish to analyze potential differences in metabolite profiles.
Endocrine Perturbation in Sockeye Salmon Metabolite Profiles
The health of Skeena River Sockeye salmon has been of increasing concern due to declining stocks over the past decade. In collaboration with the Institute of Ocean Sciences and the University of Victoria, AXYS measured the metabolite profiles of in-migrating Sockeye salmon and showed distinctive metabolite profiles for certain fish that were potentially linked to xenobiotic exposure, natural senescence, or interindividual intervariability.