Effects of Depleted Uranium On Survival, Growth, and Metamorphosis in the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


Embryos (stage 8-47, Nieuwkoop and Faber) of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were subjected to water-borne depleted uranium (DU) concentrations that ranged from 4.8 to 77,7 mg/L using an acute 96-h frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). In a chronic 64-d assay, X. laevis (from embryo through metamorphosis; stages 8-66) were subjected to concentrations of DU that ranged from 6.2 to 54.3 mg/L. Our results indicate DU is a non teratogenic metal. No effects on mortality, malformations, or growth were observed in the 96-h FEIAX with concentrations of DU that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/L. From stage 8 to stage 47, X. laevis tadpoles do not actively feed and the gills are not well developed. Thus, uptake of DU was reduced despite exposure to elevated concentrations. The 64-d assay resulted in no concentration response for either mortality or malformations; however, a delay in metamorphosis was observed in tadpoles subjected to elevated DU concentrations (from 13.1 to 54.3 mg/L) compared to tadpoles in both the well-water control and reference. The delay in metamorphosis was likely due to increasing body burden of DU that ranged from 0.98 to 2.82 mg/kg.

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Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health-Part A-Current Issues





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