Environmental toxicology and chemistry

Reproductive impacts of tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) in the hermaphroditic freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis.

PMID 23450754


Tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) are emblematic endocrine disruptors, which have been mostly studied in gonochoric prosobranchs. Although both compounds can simultaneously occur in the environment, they have mainly been tested separately for their effects on snail reproduction. Because large discrepancies in experimental conditions occurred in these tests, the present study aimed to compare the relative toxicity of TBT and TPT under similar laboratory conditions in the range of 0 ng Sn/L to 600 ng Sn/L. Tests were performed on the simultaneous hermaphrodite Lymnaea stagnalis, a freshwater snail in which effects of TPT were unknown. Survival, shell length, and reproduction were monitored in a 21-d semistatic test. Frequency of abnormal eggs was assessed as an additional endpoint. Triphenyltin hampered survival while TBT did not. Major effects on shell solidity and reproduction were observed for both compounds, reproductive outputs being more severely hampered by TBT than by TPT. Considering the frequency of abnormal eggs allowed increasing test sensitivity, because snail responses to TBT could be detected at concentrations as low as 19 ng Sn/L. However, the putative mode of action of the 2 compounds could not be deduced from the structure of the molecules or from the response of apical endpoints. Sensitivity of L. stagnalis to TBT and TPT was compared with the sensitivity of prosobranch mollusks with different habitats and different reproductive strategies.