Xenopus laevis as a Bioindicator of Endocrine Disruptors in the Region of Central Chile

Sylvia Rojas-Hucks, Arno C. Gutleb, Carlos M. González, Servane Contal, Kahina Mehennaoui, An Jacobs, Hilda E. Witters, José Pulgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the direct causes of biodiversity loss is environmental pollution resulting from the use of chemicals. Different kinds of chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals, can be endocrine disruptors, which act at low doses over a long period of time and have a negative effect on the reproductive and thyroid system in vertebrates worldwide. Research on the effects of endocrine disruptors and the use of bioindicators in neotropical ecosystems where pressure on biodiversity is high is scarce. In Chile, although endocrine disruptors have been detected at different concentrations in the environments of some ecosystems, few studies have been performed on their biological effects in the field. In this work, Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog), an introduced species, is used as a bioindicator for the presence of endocrine disruptors in aquatic systems with different degrees of contamination in a Mediterranean zone in central Chile. For the first time for Chile, alterations are described that can be linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as vitellogenin induction, decreased testosterone in male frogs, and histological changes in gonads. Dioxin-like and oestrogenic activity was detected in sediments at locations where it seem to be related to alterations found in the frogs. In addition, an analysis of land use/cover use revealed that urban soil was the best model to explain the variations in frog health indicators. This study points to the usefulness of an invasive species as a bioindicator for the presence of endocrine-disruptive chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-408
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume77
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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