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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

The impact of goitrogen 6-propylthiouracil (PTU) on West-African clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) exposed during metamorphosis

Carlsson G, Norrgren L


This study investigated the suitability of using tadpoles of the West-African clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) for studying adverse effects on the thyroid hormone system after chemical exposure. Tadpoles were exposed to the thyroxine synthesis inhibitor 6-propylthiouracil (PTU) at concentrations between 2-75 mg/L during 14 days. After 5 and 14 days of exposure the developmental stage, hind limb length, body length and weight were measured. Moreover, histological measurements of the thyroid glands were performed after 14 days of exposure. These measurements included maximum thyroid cross-section area, follicular area and epithelial cell height. Tadpoles in the 75 mg/L treatment were less developed and had shorter hind limb length than the control group after 14 days of exposure. No effects were recorded on these parameters at lower PTU concentrations. The histological measurements revealed clear dose-response relationships in both follicular cross-section area and epithelial cell height, with lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) recorded at 2 and 5 mg/L, respectively. This study shows that X. tropicalis is a suitable species for detection of thyroid disrupting chemicals. Further, histopathological measurements of thyroid glands are more sensitive parameters compared with apical endpoints when studying adverse effects on thyroid hormone system caused by PTU exposure in X. tropicalis. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Xenopus tropicalis; Amphibian; Metamorphosis; Thyroid; Disruption

Published in

Aquatic Toxicology
2007, Volume: 82, number: 1, pages: 55-62