Journal of applied toxicology : JAT

Development of the Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay: Effects of benzophenone-2 exposure in Xenopus laevis from embryo to juvenile.

PMID 27241388


The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is a globally harmonized chemical testing guideline developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Japan's Ministry of Environment to support risk assessment. The assay is employed as a higher tiered approach to evaluate effects of chronic chemical exposure throughout multiple life stages in a model amphibian species, Xenopus laevis. To evaluate the utility of the initial LAGDA design, the assay was performed using a mixed mode of action endocrine disrupting chemical, benzophenone-2 (BP-2). X. laevis embryos were exposed in flow-through conditions to 0, 1.5, 3.0 or 6.0 mg l(-1) BP-2 until 2 months post-metamorphosis. Overt toxicity was evident throughout the exposure period in the 6.0 mg l(-1) treatment due to elevated mortality rates and observed liver and kidney pathologies. Concentration-dependent increases in severity of thyroid follicular cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia occurred in larval tadpoles indicating BP-2-induced impacts on the thyroid axis. Additionally, gonads were impacted in all treatments with some genetic males showing both testis and ovary tissues (1.5 mg l(-1) ) and 100% of the genetic males in the 3.0 and 6.0 mg l(-1) treatments experiencing complete male-to-female sex reversal. Concentration-dependent vitellogenin induction occurred in both genders with associated accumulations of protein in the livers, kidneys and gonads, which was likely vitellogenin and other estrogen-responsive yolk proteins. This is the first study that demonstrates the endocrine effects of this mixed mode of action chemical in an amphibian species and demonstrates the utility of the LAGDA design for supporting chemical risk assessment. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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2,2′,4,4′-Tetrahydroxybenzophenone, 97%