Biochemical effects of chlorpyrifos on two developmental stages of Xenopus laevis

Sean M. Richards, Ron J. Kendall

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39 Scopus citations


The effects of a 96-h static exposure to chlorpyrifos were examined in two developmental stages of larval Xenopus laevis (premetamorph and metamorph). Measures of effect included mortality, deformity, cholinesterase (ChE) activity, and DNA and protein concentration. All parameters indicated that metamorphs were more sensitive than were premetamorphs. For larvae exposed as premetamorphs, the median lethal concentration and median effective concentration were 14.6 mg/L and 1.71 mg/L; for those exposed as metamorphs, values were 0.56 mg/L and 0.24 mg/L, respectively. Cholinesterase activity was the most sensitive biochemical parameter. Exposure to chlorpyrifos at 0.01 mg/L caused significant decreases in the ChE activity of metamorphs; 0.1 mg/L significantly decreased premetamorph ChE activity. Metamorph DNA was significantly decreased at 0.1 mg/L; premetamorph DNA was not reduced until exposure to 1.0 mg/L. Whole-body protein was the least sensitive biochemical measure of effect. Premetamorphs did not experience a reduction in protein concentrations. Metamorph protein concentration was significantly decreased at 1.0 mg/L. Based on current surface water data, the most sensitive effect would not have a high probability (≤4.2%) of occurring in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1826-1835
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Anuran
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Cholinesterase
  • Larval Xenopus


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