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DecaBDE Histology Project

          We are currently investigating the paraventricular nucleus in the hypothalamus of C57 mice that were developmentally exposed to decaBDE, a common flame retardant found in plastic and foam products nationwide. DecaBDE is a known endocrine disruptor and has been shown to decrease thyroid hormone (T4) levels in decaBDE-exposed mice. Thyroid hormone plays an important role in the differentiation of mesenchymal cells in osteoblasts, adipose and myocytes. Our collaborators at the University of New England have shown a deficit in progenitor oseoblast cells within the tibia bone of decaBDE mice and our own lab has shown deficits in grip and motor coordination behavior. The paraventricular nucleus plays an important role in the thyroid hormone cycle and PCBs, another group of flame retardants, has been shown to reduce the total area of the paraventicular nucleus.

Lab work

A fixed mouse brain is snap-frozen in dry ice and then mounted in a cryostat for sectioning

Lab work

Caitlyn Edwards sectioning a mouse brain. The sections are twenty microns in height, and are put on slides. Sectioning a whole mouse brain can take upwards of 5-6 hours!

Lab work

Briana Pangrazio staining the slides under the fume hood.

Ex-ray images

We use the cresyl violet stain protocol, which stains the nuclei of neurons a dark purple


Man working on microscope

Using a Zeiss microscope, Keith Morris-Schaffer is taking pictures of the sections so that we can count the nuclei within the paraventricular nucleus of each brain.