Articles by Thea M. Edwards in JoVE
Detecting Estrogenic Ligands in Personal Care Products using a Yeast Estrogen Screen Optimized for the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory Thea M. Edwards1,2, Howard E. Morgan2,3, Coralia Balasca4, Naveen K. Chalasani5, Lauren Yam4,6, Alison M. Roark4 1Department of Biology, University of the South, 2School of Biological Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, 3School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 4Department of Biology, Furman University, 5Department of Computer Science, Louisiana Tech University, 6Clemson University This article presents an optimized yeast estrogen screen for quantifying ligands in Personal Care Products (PCPs) that bind estrogen receptors alpha (ERα) and/or beta (ERβ). The method incorporates two colorimetric substrate options, a six-day refrigerated incubation for use in undergraduate courses, and statistical tools for data analysis.
Other articles by Thea M. Edwards on PubMed
Integrative and Comparative Reproductive Biology: From Alligators to Xenobiotics General and Comparative Endocrinology. | Pubmed ID: 27013381 Dr. Louis J. Guillette Jr. thought of himself as a reproductive biologist. However, his interest in reproductive biology transcended organ systems, life history stages, species, and environmental contexts. His integrative and collaborative nature led to diverse and fascinating research projects conducted all over the world. He doesn't leave us with a single legacy. Instead, he entrusts us with several. The purpose of this review is to highlight those legacies, in both breadth and diversity, and to illustrate Dr. Guillette's grand contributions to the field of reproductive biology. He has challenged the field to reconsider how we think about our data, championed development of novel and innovative techniques to measure endocrine function, helped define the field of endocrine disruption, and lead projects to characterize new endocrine disrupting chemicals. He significantly influenced our understanding of evolution, and took bold and important steps to translate all that he has learned into advances in human reproductive health. We hope that after reading this manuscript our audience will appreciate and continue Dr. Guillette's practice of open-minded and passionate collaboration to understand the basic mechanisms driving reproductive physiology and to ultimately apply those findings to protect and improve wildlife and human health.
Environmentally Relevant Concentrations of Nitrate Increase Plasma Testosterone Concentrations in Female American Alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis) General and Comparative Endocrinology. | Pubmed ID: 27118707 Anthropogenic nitrogen is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that is contributing to the degradation of freshwater, estuarine, and coastal ecosystems worldwide. The effects of environmental nitrate, a principal form of nitrogen, on the health of aquatic life is of increasing concern. We exposed female American alligators to three concentrations of nitrate (0.7, 10 and 100mg/L NO3-N) for a duration of five weeks and five months from hatch. We assessed growth, plasma sex steroid and thyroid hormone concentrations, and transcription levels of key genes involved in steroidogenesis (StAR, 3β-HSD, and P450scc) and hepatic clearance (Cyp1a, Cyp3a). Exposure to 100mg/L NO3-N for both five weeks and five months resulted in significantly increased plasma testosterone (T) concentrations compared with alligators in the reference treatment. No differences in 17β-estradiol, progesterone, or thyroid hormones were observed, nor were there differences in alligator weight or the mRNA abundance of steroidogenic or hepatic genes. Plasma and urinary nitrate concentrations increased with increasing nitrate treatment levels, although relative plasma concentrations of nitrate were significantly lower in five month, versus five week old animals, possibly due to improved kidney function in older animals. These results indicate that environmentally relevant concentrations of nitrate can increase circulating concentrations of T in young female alligators.
Nitrate Induces a Type 1 Diabetic Profile in Alligator Hatchlings Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. | Pubmed ID: 28942280 Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects 1 in 300 children by age 18. T1D is caused by inflammation-induced loss of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, leading to high blood glucose and a host of downstream complications. Although multiple genes are associated with T1D risk, only 5% of genetically susceptible individuals actually develop clinical disease. Moreover, a growing number of T1D cases occur in geographic clusters and among children with low risk genotypes. These observations suggest that environmental factors contribute to T1D etiology. One potential factor, supported primarily by epidemiological studies, is the presence of nitrate and nitrite in drinking water. To test this hypothesis, female hatchling alligators were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of nitrate in their tank water (reference, 10mg/L, or 100mg/L NO3-N) from hatch through 5 weeks or 5 months of age. At each time point, endpoints related to T1D were investigated: plasma levels of glucose, triglycerides, testosterone, estradiol, and thyroxine; pancreas, fat body, and thyroid weights; weight gain or loss; presence of immune cells in the pancreas; and pancreatic beta cell number, assessed by antibody staining of nkx6.1 protein. Internal dosing of nitrate was confirmed by measuring plasma and urine nitrate levels and whole blood methemoglobin. Cluster analysis indicated that high nitrate exposure (most animals exposed to 100mg/L NO3-N and one alligator exposed to 10mg/L NO3-N) induced a profile of endpoints consistent with early T1D that could be detected after 5 weeks and was more strongly present after 5 months. Our study supports epidemiological data correlating elevated nitrate with T1D onset in humans, and highlights nitrate as a possible environmental contributor to the etiology of T1D, possibly through its role as a nitric oxide precursor.