SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Development of Cytochromes P450 in Avian Species as a Biomarker for Environmental Contaminant Exposure and Effect: Procedures and Baseline Values


As in mammals and fish, birds respond to many environmental contaminants with induction of hepatic cytochromes P450. In order to monitor cytchromes P450 in specific avian species, for assessing the status of that species or the habitat it utilizes, it is necessary to have background information on the appropriate assay conditions and the responsiveness of cytochrome P450 induction in that species. Assay of four monooxygenases which give resorufin as product, using a fluorescence microwell plate scanner, has proven to be an effective approach. Information is provided on the incubation conditions and baseline activity for twenty avian species at ages ranging from pipping embryo to adult. Induction responsiveness is presented for sixteen of them. This information can serve as a guide for those who wish to utilize cytochrome P450 as a biomarker for contaminant exposure and effect to aid in selection of appropriate species, age, and monooxygenase assay(s).

Author Information

Melancon, MJ
Patuxent Environmental Science Center, National Biological Service, Laurel, MD
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Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 95–108
DOI: 10.1520/STP11701S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5345-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2031-0