John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Lethal and sublethal effects of phthalate diesters in Silurana tropicalis larvae

Phthalates are compounds used in polymers to increase their flexibility and are now ubiquitous in the environment due to widespread use. As few studies have focused on the adverse effects of these chemicals in aquatic species, this study aimed to determine the effects of phthalate diesters in amphibians. Western clawed frog (Silurana tropicalis) tadpoles were acutely exposed to water spiked with monomethyl (MMP; 1.3 to 1,595.5 mg/L), dimethyl (DMP; 0.03 to 924.0 mg/L), or dicyclohexyl (DCHP; 0.3 to 99.3 mg/L) phthalates. As few studies have addressed the toxicity of these specific phthalates in most organisms, this study used higher concentrations of these chemicals to determine their toxicity pathways in amphibians and at the same time investigate a suite of genes known to be altered by the well‐studied phthalates. Both DMP and DCHP increased larval mortality (9.1 to 924.0 mg/L DMP and 4.1 to 99.3 mg/L DCHP), increased frequency of malformations in tadpoles (0.1 to 34.1 mg/L DMP and 4.1 to 19.0 mg/L DCHP), and upregulation of cellular stress‐related mRNA levels (4.1 mg/L DCHP). To characterize the molecular toxicity pathway of these phthalates in tadpoles, transcriptome analysis was conducted using a custom microarray. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment revealed an important increase in the expression of genes related to drug metabolism and transport, liver metabolism, xenobiotic clearance, and xenobiotic metabolism after DMP and DCHP treatments, while these responses were less pronounced with MMP (the metabolite of DMP). This is one of the few studies that demonstrated complementarity between gene expression analysis and organismal effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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