Effects of low dose endosulfan exposure on brain neurotransmitter levels in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis

Valérie Preud'homme, Sylvain Milla, Virginie Gillardin, Edwin De Pauw, Mathieu Denoël, Patrick Kestemont

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Abstract

Understanding the impact of pesticides in amphibians is of growing concern to assess the causes of their decline. Among pesticides, endosulfan belongs to one of the potential sources of danger because of its wide use and known effects, particularly neurotoxic, on a variety of organisms. However, the effect of endosulfan was not yet evaluated on amphibians at levels encompassing simultaneously brain neurotransmitters and behavioural endpoints. In this context, tadpoles of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis were submitted to four treatments during 27d: one control, one ethanol control, and two low environmental concentrations of endosulfan (0.1 and 1μgL-1). Endosulfan induced a significant increase of brain serotonin level at both concentrations and a significant increase of brain dopamine and GABA levels at the lower exposure but acetylcholinesterase activity was not modified by the treatment. The gene coding for the GABA transporter 1 was up-regulated in endosulfan contaminated tadpoles while the expression of other genes coding for the neurotransmitter receptors or for the enzymes involved in their metabolic pathways was not significantly modified by endosulfan exposure. Endosulfan also affected foraging, and locomotion in links with the results of the physiological assays, but no effects were seen on growth. These results show that low environmental concentrations of endosulfan can induce adverse responses in X. laevis tadpoles. At a broader perspective, this suggests that more research using and linking multiple markers should be used to understand the complex mode of action of pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalChemosphere
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Behaviour
  • Endosulfan
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Physiology
  • Toxicity

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