For more than two decades, EPL has established itself as a premier laboratory for the collection and histologic processing of tissues from aquatic animals. To date, much of this work has involved specimens of wild and cultivated fish, including greater than thirty species of freshwater, brackish, and marine origin, from guppies to Atlantic salmon; however, EPL has also developed special protocols for handling a variety of tissue types acquired from amphibians, bivalve mollusks, crustaceans, and corals. EPL has developed and perfected whole fish step-sectioning for the small aquarium species that are typically used in laboratory experiments (Japanese medaka, fathead minnow, zebrafish, tilapia, sheepshead minnow, and others). For these types of studies, superior histologic slide preparation requires expert knowledge of precise anatomical landmarks, and careful optimization of decalcification procedures and tissue processing schedules. In addition to histologic slide preparation, EPL is capable of providing on site necropsy services, and such necropsies can be performed either in the laboratory or at remote surface water locations.
EPL has particular expertise in the preparation of specimens for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Endocrine Disruption assays, having participated extensively in both the pre-validation and validation phases of assay development. This proficiency includes, but is not limited to, the collection and processing of fathead minnow gonads for the Fish Short Term Screening Assay, and the creation of thyroid step sections from Xenopus spp. for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay. EPL is also a leader in this pathologic evaluation of such specimens (see Aquatic Animal and Avian Pathology). At EPL, aquatic animal histology can be conducted in accordance with Good Laboratory Practice guidelines as prescribed by the US FDA, US EPA, OECD, or other regulatory organizations.
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