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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Distribution of BDE-99 and effects on metamorphosis of BDE-99 and -47 after oral exposure in Xenopus tropicalis

Carlsson G, Kulkarni P, Larsson P, Norrgren L


The high concentrations of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in the environment have raised the need for generating more information about the impact of these substances on animals. To study the distribution of C-14-labelled 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (C-14-BDE-99) in Xenopus tropicalis (West African clawed frog) 14C-BDE-99 was administered by dietary exposure to tadpoles at stage 54 or to juvenile frogs at stage 66. Whole-body autoradiography and liquid scintillation counting were used to examine the distribution of the substance at different survival times. Further, X. tropicalis tadpoles were dietarily exposed to the PBDE congeners BDE-47 and BDE-99 to study the effects on metamorphosis process. Measurements like body weight, body length, hind limb length and developmental stage as well as histological measurements on thyroid glands were performed after 14 days of exposure. Autoradiograms revealed high concentrations and long term retention of 14C-BDE-99 in adipose tissue and melanin in frogs exposed both as tadpoles and juveniles. Further, a difference in uptake was recorded between the exposures at stages 54 and 66, implying that the juvenile frogs have higher uptake and more prolonged retention of the chemical than the tadpoles. Hind limb length was reduced in tadpoles dietarily exposed to 1 mg/g feed of both BDE congeners. This was associated with reduced body weight and body length for BDE-47, suggesting general toxicity. Tadpoles exposed to BDE-99 also showed lower developmental stage but no effects on body weight or body length, suggesting possible thyroid hormone disruption. Higher concentrations of both congeners caused increased mortality. Thus, it can be concluded that in the present study, BDE-99 was retained for a longer period in the juvenile frogs than in metamorphosing tadpoles and that BDE-99 had an impact on X. tropicalis metamorphosis that might be of thyroid disrupting origin. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Xenopus tropicalis; Distribution; Metamorphosis; PBDE; BDE-47; BDE-99

Published in

Aquatic Toxicology
2007, Volume: 84, number: 1, pages: 71-79