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Frog brain development inhibited by low dose pesticide

New research published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry reveals that low doses of a commonly used pesticide potentially harm the Northern Leopard frog by inhibiting their brain development.

Case against chlorpyrifos stacks up

The pesticide,  chlorpyrifos, which has been used since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas, had clear effects on Northern Leopard tadpoles’ neurodevelopment, even in situations where the pesticide did not cause a decline in the amphibians’ food source.

Diagram by Sara McClelland.

Developmental exposure to chlorpyrifos

The leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) tadpoles were reared through metamorphosis in artificial ponds containing either 0 or 1 µg/L chlorpyrifos and either chlorpyrifos‐resistant or chlorpyrifos‐sensitive Daphnia pulexzooplankton. 

Developmental exposure to chlorpyrifos resulted in metamorphs with a relatively wider optic tectum, medulla, and diencephalon compared with controls, and this result was found regardless of the zooplankton population of the pond.

Organophosphorous pesticides contaminate surface waters throughout the USA. exposing both animals and humans to these chemicals, often at very low levels.

Lead author Sara McClelland of Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh tells us

this study demonstrates that exposure to these contaminants, even at these low concentrations, impacts vertebrate neurodevelopment.




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