The effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the mortality and growth of two amphibian species (Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2008 Dec;5(5):368-77. doi: 10.3390/ijerph5050368.


We observed a slight drop in the growth of Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata larvae following acute exposure (24-48 h) during egg development to three concentrations of TCDD (0.3, 3.0, 30.0 microg/l). Our exposure protocol was modeled on a previous investigation that was designed to mimic the effects of maternal deposition of TCDD. The doses selected were consistent with known rates of maternal transfer between mother and egg using actual adult body burdens from contaminated habitats. Egg and embryonic mortality immediately following exposure increased only among 48 h X. laevis treatments. Control P. triseriata and X. laevis completed metamorphosis more quickly than TCDDtreated animals. The snout-vent length of recently transformed P. triseriata did not differ between treatments although controls were heavier than high-dosed animals. Likewise, the snout-vent length and weight of transformed X. laevis did not differ between control and TCDD treatments. These findings provide additional evidence that amphibians, including P. triseriata and X. laevis are relatively insensitive to acute exposure to TCDD during egg and embryonic development. Although the concentrations selected for this study were relatively high, they were not inconsistent with our current understanding of bioaccumulation via maternal transfer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura / growth & development*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity
  • Signal Transduction


  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • 1,2,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin