Analysis of CYP1A1 Expression in Cetacean Tissue Samples

This is a proposal to do further studies to determine levels of expression of
cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) in tissues of the common bottlenose dolphin
(Tursiops truncatus), and other cetacean species as needed, possibly including
sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), with such tissues obtained from animals in
the Gulf of Mexico or other areas of interest to NOAA. The levels of CYP1A1 are
induced (increased) in tissues and cells of mammals including bottlenose dolphin
and sperm whale exposed to various types of chemicals, including many
hydrocarbons that occur in petroleum. Thus, CYP1A1 expression is a marker for
exposure of animals to these chemicals, including petroleum. Tissues of interest for
examination will be skin biopsies, and liver and lung, with material from the tissues
to be provided by NOAA personnel for purposes of these measurements. The
measurement of CYP1A1 expression will be by immunohistochemistry. Together
with data on location and timing of sample collection, this will contribute
substantively to the inference regarding exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons.