Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Charles F. Ide

Second Advisor

Dr. Rob Eversole

Third Advisor

Dr. John Spitsbergen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jay C. Means


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a major contaminant of global extent in water resources and aquatic biota. Due to its high lipid solubility, PCBs fail to be degraded and, therefore, continue to bioaccumulate throughout the environment and food chain. To determine the impact of PCBs on the immune system ofaged and juvenile Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes), fish were injected with the coplanar PCB congener 126 and examined after 3 and 14 days. PCB 126 produced oxidative stress in both age groups of fish 14 days post-injection; however, juvenile medaka appeared more susceptible than aged fish. Humoral immunity, as determined by antibody forming cell (AFC) numbers, was significantly depressed for up to 14 days post-injection in both age groups. These results demonstrate the sensitivity of the fish immune response for predicting PCB-induced immunotoxicity and identify age as a variable in determining adverse outcome.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access