Metabolic, immunologic, and histopathologic responses on premetamorphic American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) following exposure to lithium and selenium


The presence of chemicals and the destruction of freshwater habitats have been addressed as one of the reasons for the decline in the amphibians’ populations worldwide. Considering the threat that these animals have been suffering in tropical regions, the present study tested if the Brazilian legislation, concerning the permissive levels of lithium and selenium in water bodies and effluents, warrants the protection of aquatic life. To do so, we assessed the metabolic, immunologic, and histopathologic alterations in liver samples of American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), at the premetamorphic stage, through biomarkers indicative of general energetic status, i.e., glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism using biochemical and histochemical approaches. The immunologic responses were assessed by the quantification of melanomacrophage centres (MMCs); the histopathologic evaluation of the liver sections was also performed. The assay was carried out over 21 days with two periods of sampling (after 7 and 21 days) to assess the effects of exposure over time. The animals were exposed to the considered safe levels of lithium (2.5 mg L-1) and selenium (10 μg L-1), both, isolated and mixed. The exposed animals showed alterations in glucose and lipid metabolism throughout the experiment. The intense presence of MMCs and histopathological responses are compatible with hepatotoxicity. The toxicity expressed by the employed animal model indicates that the Brazilian environmental legislation for the protection of aquatic life needs to be updated. With this study, we intend to provide data for better environmental policies and bring attention to sublethal effects triggered by the presence of contaminants in the aquatic environment.

Authors: Felipe Augusto Pinto-Vidal, Cleoni Dos Santos Carvalho, Fábio Camargo Abdalla, Letícia Ceschi-Bertoli, Heidi Samantha Moraes Utsunomiya, Renan Henrique da Silva, Raquel Fernanda Salla, Monica Jones-Costa
; Full Source: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) 2020 Nov 17;116086. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116086.