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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 11-12, pp. 2451-2459

Biomonitoring: Integration of biological end-points into chemical monitoring

M. Seifert, L. Wen, M. Alberti, U. Kausch and B. Hock

Technische Universitaet Muenchen,Center of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Chair of Cell Biology, Alte Akademie12, D-85350 Freising, Germany

Abstract: Biomonitoring is currently performed at two levels, assessing exposure to pollutants and effects monitoring by bioassays. As an example for the first approach, vitellogenin (VTG) in male fish of Abramis brama as an endpoint for estrogen exposure is discussed. However, similar changes of VTG or VTG-like proteins in the hemolymph of mussels could not be detected. Enzyme-linked receptor assays for monitoring estrogenic effects at the molecular level serve as an example for the second category. Applications of the enzyme-linked receptor assay (ELRA) developed in our laboratory are presented. Detection limits of 0.02 μg/l 17β-estradiol were recently achieved with the chemiluminescent format. Although effect monitoring provides information in terms of toxicity equivalents, it is not possible to relate the signals to specific pollutants and their concentrations. For this purpose, chemical analysis is required. New approaches are reported for the direct coupling of bioassays and chemical analysis. This concept is defined as bioresponse-linked instrumental analysis. It combines biomolecular recognition, initiating a biological effect, and chemical analysis. In addition to the classical bioanalytical approaches, new strategies in genomics and proteomics have been developed. This may lead to multimarker approaches opening this area to environmental analytics.