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Immunomodulation in post-metamorphic northern leopard frogs, Lithobates pipiens, following larval exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether.

Posted by on in 2014
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Cary TL1Ortiz-Santaliestra MEKarasov WH. 2014. Environ Sci Technol. 48(10):5910-9. doi: 10.1021/es405776m. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Pollutants and disease are factors implicated in amphibian population declines, and it is hypothesized that these factors exert a synergistic adverse effect, which is mediated by pollutant-induced immunosuppression. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are ubiquitous pollutants that can exert immunotoxicity, making them of interest to test effects on amphibian immune function. We orally exposed Lithobates (Rana) pipiens tadpoles to environmentally realistic levels (0-634 ng/g wet diet) of a pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture (DE-71) from as soon as they became free-swimming through metamorphic climax. To assess adaptive immune response in juvenile frogs, we used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure specific IgY production following immunization with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Specific KLH antibody response was significantly decreased in juvenile frogs that had been exposed to PBDEs as tadpoles. When assessing innate immune responses, we found significantly different neutrophil counts among treatments; however, phagocytic activity of neutrophils was not significantly different. Secretion of antimicrobial skin peptides (AMPs) nonsignificantly decreased with increasing PBDE concentrations, and no significant effect of PBDE treatment was observed on efficacy of AMPs to inhibit chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) growth. Our findings demonstrate that environmentally realistic concentrations of PBDEs are able to alter immune function in frogs; however, further research is needed to determine how these alterations impact disease susceptibility in L. pipiens.

[PubMed - in process]
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